I got to know Pittsburgh through my daughter, Natalie's husband and his parents. They warmly welcomed us to Pittsburgh several years ago and they showed us around Pittsburgh, including Squirrel Hill, a vibrant, welcoming, and supportive community of 15,000 or so that had a special sense of togetherness, stability, and warmth. I felt at home from the first time I’ve visited there.
I don’t know Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville, but I suspect it’s an equally vibrant and welcoming community.
These two communities came together tonight at a local synagogue, Rodef Shalom, through a community service for the victims of the two tragic shootings that took place in these communities this past week. The synagogue was overflowing with representatives of numerous religions, many community organizations, government officials, public servants, and so many residents of the community.
There were tributes to the law-enforcement officers, and other first responders who helped to save lives. There were words of healing, hope, and caring; there was no negativity, no political statements, nothing divisive--just unity. There was poetry, prayers, and plenty of music, all filled with flowing harmony. The music was anchored by a moving rendition of "One Voice" written by Ruth Moody (popularized by the Wailin' Jennys), and sung this night by Robbie Schaefer of the group, Eddie from Ohio.
Though it was senseless violence that brought us together, it was so sensible that we gathered as one community, and one voice, unified, positive, and welcoming to all.