• Tree of Life leaders, Pa. attorney general meet to talk about response to hate


    PITTSBURGH - Leaders of the Tree of Life Synagogue joined the Pennsylvania attorney general on Wednesday night for a discussion on hate.

    Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office worked with various local organizations to put the event on at the August Wilson Center.

    It was about bringing communities together but also digging to the root of hate and the systems that allow hate to grow.

    "Forgiveness must always be a part of a community coming together," said the Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, of the Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.


    Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, from the Tree of Life Synagogue, won't even say the word hate anymore.

    "H crimes don't suddenly appear out of nowhere. They occur when there's the right environment that permits it to grow," he said.

    Myers believes to combat hate, you have to get to the root, and that's hate speech.

    "Because speech leads to these crimes. Speech led to the murder of 11 beautiful people in the Tree of Life on Oct. 27," Myers said.

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    "Leaders must speak with moral clarity," said Shapiro. Without saying President Donald Trump's name, he referenced the Muslim travel ban, the response to the Charlottesville violence, attacks on immigrants and the military transgender ban.

    "We need to summon our collective strength to fight back against that and reclaim the identity of our country," Shapiro said.

    The same group of religious and government leaders will be holding a similar conference again Thursday in Philadelphia.



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