Love is always more powerful than hate

DEAR EDITOR:

Recently, the good and decent people of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys displayed their true colors.

A huge crowd, comprised of individuals of all faiths, ethnicities and political persuasions gathered together at Temple El Emeth, as one region, to mourn the deaths of the 11 innocent worshipers in Pittsburgh who were gunned down in their Synagogue during Shabbat prayers, and to offer support and fellowship to the Jewish community during this difficult time. On behalf of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, we want to say thank you.

Many of us this week have felt utterly without hope and without faith, and we feared that we would be facing these feelings alone. We know that we are not alone.

As Federation President Richard Marlin said during the ceremony, “the anti-Semitism and xenophobia that led to this unspeakable bloodshed must be condemned in no uncertain terms by leadership and the general public alike … This is the time for us all to come together. We must use this opportunity to unite our cities, states and nation to ensure that no such tragedies recur in any community of any persuasion. We must tap our outrage to effectuate positive change and safeguards, letting our officials know that we stand ready to work with them to make it so.”

The community answered this call. And while we have not and will not always see eye-to-eye on all matters, it is our hope that this incredible moment of unity will continue and that an air of civility and respect will prevail in all our discourse.

Love is most definitely stronger than hate.

ANDREW LIPKIN

BONNIE DEUTSCH BURDMAN

Youngstown Area Jewish Federation

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