RITTENHOUSE SQUARE (WTXF) - Dozens of people gathered in Philadelphia Saturday night to honor the victims of the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Sacred songs of the Jewish faith served as a guiding light in a solidarity vigil for the Philadelphia Jewish community, reeling from the massacre at the synagogue on Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath.
"We're just incredibly shocked. We're horrified," said Laura Frank.
Frank is with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and took part in the vigil in Rittenhouse Park to honor the lives lost.
"It's a global Jewish community. An attack on one Jewish institution is an attack on all of us, so every organization, we're all feeling as if it happened to us," Frank explained.
Many paying tribute are not Jewish themselves, but felt compelled to stand up against the hateful act that took 11 lives. Chris Bartlett is from an LGBT community services group.
"To have the shooting happen today in Pittsburgh against Jews who have always stood in solidarity with us, we are here for them. We are here for all LGBT Jews and for all Jews in Philadelphia to say we won't stand for this," Bartlett stated.
The vigil took place as Philadelphia Police officers looked on in a sobering reminder of the hateful threats toward religious freedom, and the security does not stop there.
"Our community's aware. We've been working very closely with the Philadelphia PD, with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Throughout the year, the Jewish Federation has been briefed by all these departments. We've done active shooter drills. We have educated every Jewish community and organization in our region," said Frank.