By: Chelsea Perry
Dr. Joseph B. Glass has a connection to the Jewish community of Pittsburgh.
He visited twenty years ago to deliver an interfaith lecture on the cultural and historical significance of the Holy Land in American history.
In the wake of tragedy, Â Dr. Glass found himself reflecting on his time spent with the Rodef Shalom Congregation in 1998. He addressed a crowd of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and non-believers gathered outside Founderâ€™s Hall at a vigil held on Sunday in solidarity with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, PA.
On October 27th, eleven people were killed with an AR-15-style assault rifle in the deadliest act of violence against the Jewish people in American history.
Those killed were Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Melvin Wax, Daniel Stein, Irving Younger, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal.
Dr. Glass visited the Jewish community of Pittsburgh twenty years ago to deliver an interfaith lecture on the cultural and historical significance of the Holy Land in American history.
â€œI felt some part in the collective responsibility, and in personal responsibilityâ€, says Glass. â€œWhat can we do as individuals and as a society to bring about a culture which understands and respects all its members, despite their differences?â€
Glass explains that the first way to do so is to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hate toward religious, racial, and ethnic groups. He notes that Island religious communities have made great strides by welcoming people of other faiths into their place of worship.
â€œGetting to know our neighbour is a simple step towards creating heaven on earth, in which we will no longer see hate and violence towards any member of our society. Let this be a teachable moment that the sacrifice of the worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue will not be in vain.â€