Atlanta Jewish community honors victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
ATLANTA - Members of Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta gathered Sunday, counting on one another - while countering fear.
"It's an unbelievable devastation and tragedy that has shaken us all and I'm still in disbelief about it," Eric Robbins said, surrounded by hundreds who share his faith.
Those who personally knew some of the 11 killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh say they're struggling to make sense of something that does not: A gunman targeting people simply because of their faith.
"The souls of those people! They embraced you and you embraced them ... The notion that their lives were taken by hate is something I've really had a hard time with," relayed Jake Schwartz, who grew up in Pittsburgh.
Members here say the accused killer robbed them of their sense of security.
Temple is supposed to be a place you feel safe.
"It just tears me apart that every day we have to think of this," Natalie Kirsh told FOX 5.
"You're welcomed here and you know everyone, so to have that safety ruined really strikes you to the core," agreed Robbie Medwed.
The synagogue has had armed guards for years and keeps doors locked when small groups are meeting. Security is now an even higher priority, say Congregation Shearith Israel leaders.