British Columbia

Vigil held in Vancouver for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue attack

A memorial took place Sunday at Vancouver's Jewish Community Centre for the 11 people murdered in a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Memorial took place at 4 p.m. at the Jewish Community Centre

Eleven candles were lit in Vancouver on Sunday for the victims of an attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

A community memorial was held in Vancouver on Sunday to commemorate the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

The memorial took place at the Wosk Auditorium at the Jewish Community Centre — there weren't enough seats for the large crowd of people who came. 

They were there to honour the 11 people were killed and six injured when a gunman opened fire at a baby naming ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighbourhood Saturday. Six more people were injured.

Police said a suspect, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, was in custody after the attack. The gunman shouted "All Jews must die" when he stormed the synagogue, according to local media and authorities. 

Vancouver rabbi Jonathan Infeld led the vigil at the Jewish Community Centre on Oak Street in Vancouver. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Vancouver rabbi Jonathan Infeld led the Vancouver vigil. Infeld grew up in Pittsburgh. One of the victims was a family friend.

"My family is very much dealing with the tragedy as it unfolded," Infeld said. 

Eleven candles were lit as the names of each victim was read out loud, followed by a prayer.

Infeld says the tragedy has rippled through the community, but it has also brought people together, from different faiths, to rally against hate.

The auditorium at Vancouver's Jewish Community Centre was packed. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

"We need to dial back the words of hate in general across North America, and really try to focus on peace and the love of others and acceptance of others for who they are," he said. 

Jewish communities across Canada gathered for memorial demonstrations. Vigils took place at Montreal's Holocaust museum, at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa and at Montreal's Beth Israel Beth Aaron synagogue.

Read more from CBC British Columbia


With files from Jon Hernandez, Bridgette Watson and The Canadian Press