LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted a vigil at City Hall honoring the 11 lives lost this weekend in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting. This was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community on US soil in American history.
“We absolutely cannot stand idly by and become desensitized to yet another shooting. These 11 Americans had names, stories, families, hopes and dreams,” said Blumenfield. “There is no place in our country for hate crimes of any kind and we must come together, unify and stand up to bigots, racists and intolerance.”
Councilmember Blumenfield convened the vigil to honor these peoples’ lives and to stand in solidarity with Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. From the City family, Blumenfield was joined by Mayor Garcetti, Controller Ron Galperin as well as Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Curren Price, Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
"The women and men lost in Pittsburgh remind us of people in our own neighborhoods and communities -- and their stories remind us of the importance of kindness, civility, belonging, openness, and love," said Mayor Garcetti. "The answer to this horrific act is not more violence or division, but a renewed commitment to the diversity and pluralism that define America's best traditions."
Controller Galperin said, “We mourn the 11 souls forever bound in the tree of life knowing with a heavy heart their loss will forever be with us. But this tragedy again shows us that the best of our nation must rest on tolerance. As we mourn the 11 souls we lost, we come together in love, in goodness, in joy and in mourning. Together, we will work in unity and for a better America.”
Faith leaders and anti-hate crime advocates were also in attendance, including Amanda Susskind from the Anti-Defamation League; Alisa Finsten of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; Bita Nuhavandi of the Israeli-American Civic Action Network; Sia Korestani of the American Jewish Committee; Omar Ricci, Chair of the Islamic Center of Southern California; Edina Lekovic, layleader at the Islamic Center of Southern California; Fr. Cyril Georgy, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles; and Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot of Temple Judea in Tarzana.
“It was meaningful and powerful to stand with leaders in our community in the face of hatred,” said Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot. “May we all continue to unite ourselves in the service of goodness and love.”
Blumenfield has a deep-rooted history of supporting the Jewish community and other groups against hate crimes. Last year, Blumenfield authored and passed a motion requesting the Police Commission report on recent trends in Los Angeles-based hate crimes and increase security at religious sites and other sensitive locations. He formally served on ADL’s regional board and chaired its Valley advisory board.