Orlando Mass Shooting Spurs Nationwide Vigils and International Solidarity


The Jewish community across the world reacts to the devastating massacre in Orlando.

Yesterday's horrific mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., which left 49 dead and 53 wounded, is being characterized as the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil.

Police have identified the perpetrator as Omar Mateen, a Fort Pierce, Fla., resident who had recently expressed homophobic sentiments. In the middle of the massacre at the gay nightspot, Mateen allegedly called 911 and pledged his loyalty to ISIS. Two prior FBI investigations into Mateen were closed without further action. He had licenses for his firearms, which he purchased recently.

As the names of the victims emerge, cities across the country have held vigils, and more are planned. A website, WeAreOrlando, has been set up to provide information for such actions, three of which are planned for the Philadelphia area. Tonight, there will be a vigil in Philadelphia at City Hall, and one in New Hope; tomorrow, there will be one in Norristown. (There's also a vigil in Harrisburg this evening.)

So far, three shooting victims from Philadelphia have been reported: two are dead, one is hospitalized.

Across the world, the Jewish community has reacted to this tragedy with signs of solidarity — perhaps the most obvious is Tel Aviv's City Hall, whose lights have been programmed to show a rainbow flag, Israeli flag, and American flag.

The Forward reports that the rabbi of Orlando's largest synagogue and the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida are working together to plan a memorial service in that city. Jewish leaders from all over the world have been responding to the massacre. Below, a list of articles providing the Jewish perspective, so far. 

• Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Florida Jews Show Solidarity With Muslims After Terror [International Business Times]

Palestinian Authority condemns Orlando attack as 'senseless act of terror and hate' [Times of Israel]

• Orlando Gunman Worked for Sprawling Security Firm Embroiled in Israel Controversy [Forward]

Prioritising victims at times of terror [Times of Israel]

Israeli leaders, U.S. Jewish groups mourn Orlando shooting [JTA]

Jerusalem joins world in mourning Orlando masscre [Times of Israel]

A moment in time, Orlando, uniting as one [Jewish Journal]

Orlando rabbis describe 'devastated' community [Times of Israel]

This is a developing story






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Liz Spikol is the Jewish Exponent's editor in chief; she has worked for the publication for four years. Prior to that she was at Philadelphia magazine, Curbed Philly and the before-its-time Tek Lado, a magazine for bilingual Latinx geeks. She is active in the American Jewish Press Association and contributes to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Baltimore Jewish Times, Washington Jewish Week and Phoenix Jewish News. A Philly native, Spikol got a bachelor's degree at Oberlin College and a master's at the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Mt. Airy.


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