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Local Jewish Congregations Opening Doors To All For Shabbat

Bill Rinehart
Plum Street Temple, the Downtown arm of Isaac M. Wise Temple in Amberley Village, is one of several synagogues in the Cincinnati area.

Jewish congregations across the area and the country are inviting people to #ShowUpForShabbat. The effort is meant to show solidarity after the murder of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue last weekend.

Cathy Heldman with the Cincinnati chapter of the American Jewish Committee says the idea is to show that Jews are not afraid and are not alone.

"Thirty-two hundred people have said they were going on our Facebook event page, and another 4,500 people have added their names on our website in support of the campaign and also the Pittsburgh Jewish community."

Robert Bowers is accused of entering the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 27, and killing 11 people. Witnesses say he ranted about wanting to "kill Jews."

Heldman says many local congregations are holding interfaith services. "When members of a religion are attacked because of their faith, it's an attack on all faiths and we really appreciate all the support that we have received."

The CEO of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, Shep Englander, said in a statement, "Whether you celebrate Shabbat every week, once in a while, or never, I encourage you to take the time to sit down together as a family this week. When we light our Shabbat candles, our thoughts will be with the Pittsburgh community and with all of you in our Cincinnati community."

The JFC has compiled a list of local Shabbat services.

Shabbat is observed Friday night through Saturday evening.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.