Memphians gather in solidarity to mourn victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds gathered in Memphis on Sunday to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh where 11 people lost there lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Leaders from across Shelby County were present, including the command staff for the sheriff's office and police department. A local rabbi says he's received dozens of calls, texts and emails from people across the Mid-South.

"None of us have any answers at this point. But what we can do is come together and just have this moment where we can be together and we can grieve and we can process," Rabbi Jeremy Simons, with the Hillels of Memphis, said.

"I think one of the things that makes this tragedy so hard is that Pittsburgh is a small Jewish community. It's not much different than Memphis. If it happened there it could happen here," he said.

One powerful moment during the gathering came when those who aren't Jewish were asked to stand. They were all met with applause.

"It's really powerful to know that we in Memphis have the support of the community. And they feel strongly about coming out and showing that they stand with us," Simons said.

Looking ahead, residents expect security plans to change.

"Obviously after the horrific events in Squirrel Hill, plans have evolved even further. This is unfortunately shocking, but not surprising. I think what happened highlights some of the worse fears of this Jewish community," Regional Security Director Stuart Frisch said.

He says while there is mourning, those of the Jewish faith will not operate in fear.

"I don't think fear is the proper response. I think pre-planning and having a strategic security plan in place can go a long ways in preventing the vast majority of threats we face," Frisch said.

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