As Pittsburgh Mourns, San Antonio Comes Together Tonight

The Pittsburgh synagogue attack has people of the Jewish faith across the country - including in San Antonio - on high alert, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Jews are the most assimilated that they have ever been, and yet at the same time, there's the awareness that anti-Semitism still exists," Ronit Sherwin of the Jewish Federation says.

Eleven people were killed at the Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh over the weekend.  The 46-year old gunman is known to frequent dark corners of the internet where hatred towards people of the Jewish faith is not only tolerated, but encouraged.

Sherwin says, after the attack, she received word for leaders of several faiths in San Antonio, offering condolences.  It's a shared feeling of being scared of an attack.

"Anyone who can hate one group and easily hate another group."

San Antonio is far from a hotbed of anti-Semitism, but Sherwin says it does pop up.  In some cases, its people inadvertently using phrases that they didn’t know were harmful.  In other cases, it's far deeper.

In 2015, someone spray-painted dozens of swastikas and slurs on cars and homes in a Jewish community on the North Side.  At the time, members of the Christian faith, the Jewish faith and the Muslim faith came together to denounce the attack.  No arrests were publicly announced.

As they did then, there will be an interfaith meeting tonight at Temple Beth-El  tonight, remembering the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre.  

Mayor Ron Nirenberg is expected to take part.

Going forward, San Antonio is set to host a Kosher BBQ Championship in a couple of weeks at Agudas Achim. The event brings in grill teams from across the City and thousands of visitors. They are ramping up security for that event.

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