JSU vigil brings Jewish student community together

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In light of the recent Pittsburgh shooting on Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life synagogue, Oviedo High School’s Jewish Student Union (JSU) organized a vigil on Nov. 1, National Make A Change Day.

The shooting, a clear anti-semitic act, became the deadliest attack on the Jewish Community in the U.S. With moments of silence and half-hung flags, people around the world mourned.

Oviedo’s JSU hopes to make a change and promote love and advocate against hate. In honor and remembrance of the victims, JSU lit 11 candles. They recited the names of the victims and posted pictures and papers that had their names and a little bit about each person’s story.

JSU advisor and English teacher Shayna Hron said it is important to pay respects to the victims.

“I think it is really important for students to come together to understand that holding vigils like this can help to heal,” Hron said.

A total of 10 to 12 people, including JSU members and friends, attended the vigil.

JSU member junior Dylan Sachs also attended the vigil.

“I was saddened thinking about the tragedy but it felt good because we knew that the victims wouldn’t just be forgotten,” Sachs said.

In a unified gathering, attendees had a prayer of mourning after the lighting of candles. They also made a Tree of Life painting with each of their handprints incorporated into the tree.

“It was a very intimate and meaningful event,” Sachs said.

Anti-semitic acts have existed all throughout history up to today.

“Hatred doesn’t end with a single event like that,” Hron said. “In our community, we have seen a lot of anti-semitic acts.”

As recent hateful events have picked up and sparked conversations worldwide, JSU hopes to keep this important conversation going, speaking out against violence.

“A lot of the synagogues have had threats and people don’t know or talk about it, so when something like this happens it’s unnerving,” Hron said.