New York

‘One Larger Family': Faith Leaders Show Unity After Shooting; Flags Lowered to Half-Staff in NY

What to Know

  • Gov. Cuomo ordered flags lowered to half-staff statewide after the massacre in Pittsburgh
  • Interfaith gatherings were planned, including one with Cardinal Dolan and Mayor de Blasio at an Upper East Side synagogue
  • Security was stepped up at Jewish centers and houses of worship across the region

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders gathered with city officials on Sunday in a show of unity to condemn hatred and bigotry in the wake of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people. 

"This gathering sends a message," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "New York City will never succumb to hate. We will never allow ourselves to be divided." 

The interfaith gathering at Temple Emanu-El included Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid and Public Advocate Letitia James. 

Meanwhile, at another event Sunday in Brooklyn, Borough President Eric L. Adams pledged to bring his gun every time he enters a church or synagogue, the New York Times reported. Adams is a retired NYPD captain. 

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents part of Brooklyn, agreed with Adams and said he planned to register for a gun license immediately. 

The focus of an interfaith gathering in Manhattan focused on solidarity against hate with many calling for stricter gun laws. 

"Our hearts reach out to the families of those murdered and wounded and to their Temple community we grieve beside them,” said Rabbi Joshua Davidson of the Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side. 

Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, said: "We come here this morning to say we won't stop living, we won't stop loving."

Potasnik said Cardinal Dolan called him shortly after the shooting with a message of solidarity. 

“As Pope Francis said this morning in Rome, this is a wound for the entire human family," Dolan told the gathering. "It’s a particular wound for the Jewish family and we love you and we give you our prayers and sympathy.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff. 

"The hate in this country has reached a fever pitch and it is bubbling over into violence," Cuomo said, citing the synagogue shooting and a shooting at a Kentucky grocery store that is being investigated as a hate crime. 

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