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MERION STATION, Pa. (CBS) — Those of the Jewish faith are lighting the first candle of the Menorah. Sunday marks the start of Hanukkah.
The celebration of finding light in darkness is magnified in the community this holiday season.
As many celebrate, those at the Adath Israel Synagogue in Merion Station dedicated a plaque to the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
It’s a time of reflection for many Jews, following the tragic shooting. Eleven lives were taken in October in what is now the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in United States history.
“We sadly did have connections in our community,” Rabbi Eric Yanoff said. “Two of the communities that were housed at Tree of Life Synagogue — one person lost two cousins.”
Rabbi Yanoff of the Adath Israel Synagogue in Merion Station helped dedicate a plaque to all of the victims. He says this week marks a “slosheen,” which means thirty days following the burials.
“Our congregants actually came to us and said, ‘We feel, that amongst all of these memorial plaques that are in our synagogue here, that these people, these victims should be part of the communal memory of this place.'”
The plaque faces the West to symbolize congregants looking West towards Pittsburgh and sending their condolences.
President Donald Trump released a statement Sunday to mark the start of Hanukkah:
“Unfortunately, Jews today continue to face many different forms of violence, hatred, and bigotry around the globe,” President Trump said. “We remember all those from the Tree of Life Congregation whose lives were tragically taken in Pittsburgh. Together, we reaffirm the truth that light will always break through the darkness.”