Indianapolis community mourns victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting Monday night

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A public memorial service gave the central Indiana community the chance to mourn together for the 11 victims from Saturday’s Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council organizing the gathering. It’s scheduled to take place Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, located at 6501 N. Meridian St.

Rabbi Brett Krichiver said earlier he hopes the service will give people from all walks of faith a chance to grieve together.

“We need to be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other communities of faith and people of faith to say that this devastates us,” Krichiver said. “And to allow ourselves time for that loss to sink in.”

Hours after the Pittsburgh shooting Saturday, Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow joined President Trump on stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The prayer he shared with the national FFA convention addressed the issue of good and evil in the world.

“Those who love God hate evil,” Sendrow said. “And this is a nation that loves its God and this is a nation that hates evil.”

“We pray today for moral clarity,” Sendrow continued. “Let us not dismiss this as an act of insanity, but let us see it for what it is, an act of evil.”

“I think what’s important about Rabbi Sendrow’s comments is that we stand united against evil, that there clearly is evil in the world,” Krichiver said. “But that we cannot excuse it by saying somebody is mentally ill.”

Pastor Thom O’Leary also joined the president on the stage Saturday.

“We’re reminded that this Earth we live on will never be as great as Heaven, and never be as horrific as Hell, but we get tastes of heaven and hell,” O’Leary said. “It’s in this moment, God, that we ask for your comfort and your love and your grace and your peace to be upon the victims and their families and their friends and this community of faith that we stand up for.”

For the most part, Krichiver said the Indianapolis Jewish community enjoys a healthy relationship with communities of other faiths across central Indiana.

“Tonight is a very important night for our community, and not just the Jewish community,” Krichiver said.

Since the Saturday shooting, police in Carmel and Indianapolis have increased patrols around local synagogues. Religious leaders have called armed security an unfortunate, but necessary measure in the times we live in.

“I think that guarding any place of worship with weapons is unfortunate,” Krichiver said.