SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- On a typical Friday night, between 30 and 40 people attend Shabbat services at Sacramento's Congregation Beth Shalom. This Friday the turnout was more than double.
"There's a lot more cars," Robin Lembersky, who had trouble finding parking, told ABC10. "And there's two police cars in front. And there were no police cars last week."
The crowds, and the police presence, all in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. On the first Friday night Shabbat since the anti-Semitic attack, a worldwide social media campaign urged people of all faiths to #ShowUpForShabbat in solidarity.
At Congregation Beth Shalom, the room was overflowing.
"We had folks visiting us from different congregations and we had folks vising us who are not Jewish," Rabbi Nancy Wechsler said. "So, that brought a great deal of comfort."
Alex Elies, 31, said it had been a while since he went to Shabbat, but once he heard about the attacks he knew he had to show up Friday night.
"I grew up going to synagogue here. I got Bar Mitzvahed here. My brother got Bar Mitzvahed here. Our four grandparents' names are on the wall back here," Elies said. "And now it occurred to me for the first time that a loved one could be killed here."
That fear was felt by everyone in the Jewish community. In the week since the Pittsburgh attack, several synagogues across the country have been vandalized with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti. But those in the room at Congregation Beth Shalom Friday, would look around and tell you there is certainly hope.
"Resilience happens when we come together, bravely, with joy," Wechsler said. "And we remember and we know and we're aware of the tragedy. "It's not only with our people. It happens vigorously in our community, in this country. Yet, despite all that, we're going to come together. We are. That's what we do."
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