Stronger than hate

October 27, 2018, the morning after I celebrated my 18th birthday, I opened up Facebook to see that there was a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. “Oh, another shooting,” I thought. It was not until I was studying at the library when it resonated with me. I started to cry hysterically.

It wasn’t just another shooting, it was a shooting at a synagogue. That week I cried in class, in my car, at synagogue the next day, and just about anywhere.

That was the day everything changed for me. That is when I started to question whether or not we are safe as Jews living in 21st century America.

The Neo-Nazi uprising in Charlottesville and the antisemitism spewed by SJP is one thing, but a shooting at a synagogue was something incomprehensible for me. This is America, not Nazi Germany I thought.

I think what made it resonate with me the most was that I planned to go to temple that day but I overslept. Although my synagogue has had metal detectors for years, I really thought that this was something that could have happened to me, at my place of worship.

As we all know, the Pittsburgh shooting was not an isolated incident, there were multiple attempts to mimic it, the shooting at Poway, and the shooting outside of the synagogue in Halle.

However, that does not mean we do not show up to our synagogues in response, it means the opposite.

Show up this Shabbat, even if you are not Jewish, show up in solidarity and continue to show up.

About the Author
Chloe Levian is a Jewish student leader at UCLA. She is the President of Bruins for Israel, the Campus Communications Coordinator for BIPAC, and on the Y&S Nazarian Israel Center Student Advisory Council. She is also the StandWithUs Alumni Network Liaison, a Hasbara Fellow, a Ronald S. Lauder Fellow, and a proud member of Iranian American Jews for Racial Justice. Chloe is passionate about Israel advocacy, combating antisemitism, and social justice.
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