VIDEO: Brooklyn Law School students join in vigil to honor Pittsburgh synagogue victims

November 2, 2018 By Liliana Bernal Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
An attendee lights one of 11 candles that represent the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. Eagle photos by Paul Frangipane
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A vigil in front of Brooklyn Law School in memoriam of the 11 people murdered last weekend in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh brought together students from several faiths on Thursday night.

The crowd of dozens, which included faculty staff members, gathered at the school courtyard where students delivered speeches condemning the Pittsburgh shooting and calling on others to join each other in solidarity.

“We realized how important it is to stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters at all times but especially in these terrible times of hatred,” said Felicia Castaldo, social chairwoman of the Muslim Law Students Association, one of the event’s organizers.  

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Castaldo said she hopes the event will lead to better relationships between the two faiths at the school as Muslims and Jews share similar values, guidelines and principles.

Jewish community leaders shared with attendees some of their religious traditions, such as the recitation of Psalm 23, one of the most sacred holy verses in Judaism and then a traditional Jewish prayer of mourning.

“Our community here at Brooklyn Law School is open, inclusive and tolerant to everybody,” said Josh Trachtenberg, president of the Brooklyn Law School Chabad Organization. “We thought it would be a great symbol to have this event to make sure that the memories of the people that passed away in Pittsburgh last week would be a catalyst for the promotion of more tolerance and love between all people in our community.”

Trachtenberg stressed the role Brooklyn Law School plays in the promotion of diversity nationwide, saying that the first ultra-orthodox judge in the United States is an alumni of the school and that various faculty members are ultra-orthodox judges.

The crowd ended the ceremony by lighting 11 candles that each represented a victim of the shooting.

On the school’s role in inclusivity, Trachtenberg said, “From now and into the future, Brooklyn Law School is not a place that will discriminate against anybody or prevent anybody for getting a legal education because of who they are.”


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