Vigil held in Vancouver for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Pope prays for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

The rabbi of the Tree of Life synagogue, where 11 people were shot dead in an anti-Semitic attack over the weekend, said Monday that his community "will rebuild" in the wake of the massacre. "But on Sabbath it's an open door", he said.

The shooting rampage that killed 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday is being decried as the deadliest attack on Jews in USA history, allegedly carried out by a virulently anti-Semitic gunman. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Squirrel Hill, the close-knit neighbourhood and heart of Pittsburgh's Jewish community where the shooting occurred, was in shock.

He said authorities believed the suspect entered the synagogue, murdered the worshippers and was leaving when he encountered a uniformed police officer.

On Monday, Myers told CNN that President Trump is "always welcome" in Pittsburgh - despite a group of Jewish leaders in the city rejecting a possible visit from the commander in chief unless he denounces white nationalism.

While the incident has created fear, he said he would encourage congregation members to focus on love and not hatred.

Recalling the harrowing moments of the Saturday morning shooting in an interview on the "Today" show, Jeffrey Myers also called on US President Donald Trump to "tone down rhetoric" and take action against hate.

The nation's latest mass shooting drew condemnation and expressions of sympathy from politicians and religious leaders of all stripes.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a Toronto-based advocacy group, said similar events were also planned in Hamilton in Winnipeg.

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The mass shooting raised immediate alarm in Jewish communities around the country. It appears he acted alone, authorities said.

Bob Jones, head of the FBI's Pittsburgh office, said that worshippers "were brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply due to their faith", though he cautioned the shooter's full motive was not yet known. Authorities in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and other cities sent extra patrols to synagogues and other houses of worship.

The largest targeted murder of Jews in United States history in Pittsburgh is one of many attacks over the last decades which have targeted Jews in synagogues and community centers throughout the world. "And that's what this man did". Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going.

Calls began coming in to 911 from the synagogue just before 10 a.m. Saturday.

Rabbis Mendy Cohen and Yossi Grossbaum led prayers and lit candles at the Arden Arcade synagogue for victims in the shooting at Tree of Life, urging attendees to commit themselves to extra mitzvahs - good deeds - to fight the forces of hatred in the world.

He said the synagogue tries to mitigate security risks with 24-hour surveillance and an on-site security team.

Snider had just been released from a six-week hospital stay for pneumonia and was not at Saturday's services. "Just never ever dream that it would happen like this".

"At least this family does not want to meet with him", Bill Cartiff, who was mourning with the family of victim Melvin Wax, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "If I weren't out of town celebrating Shabbat with my family, I would have been in the building".

As The Washington Post reported on Saturday, Robert Bowers, 46, was taken into custody on Saturday engaging in a gun battle with police at the Tree of Life synagogue in the western Pennsylvania city, where witnesses told police he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and then opened fire with an assault rifle.

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