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Saint John Jewish museum welcomes heartbroken guests from U.S.
Members of the Jewish faith remain in shock and are heartbroken by events in Pittsburgh last Saturday.
That was clearly evident Thursday as some Maritimers welcomed guests from the U.S. Jewish community whose visit to Saint John, N.B., was a chance to learn about a shared heritage of hardship and hope.
On a busy fall day in uptown Saint John, the American tourists visited the city's Jewish Historical Museum for a moment of quiet reflection.
It was a chance to learn about members of their own faith in the Maritimes. It might seem like a different world, but they are connected by culture, history, and now, heartache.
“An attack on any Jewish person is an attack on all of us,” said Jeffrey Liebson, who is visiting from Florida.
“I think it's very important for Jews to realize that we stand as a united group throughout the world,” said another visitor.
It's been less than a week since 11 people were gunned down at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in what has been called the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
Howard Schneider of Florida says it's always been a difficult time for members of the Jewish faith.
"We've had to go ahead and pay extra for security for our synagogue in Miami, and I’m sure that when I get back we're going to have to pay more,” he said.
Katherine Biggs-Craft is the curator of the Jewish Historical Museum in Saint John. She says they’re always thinking of security.
“We're not right beside the door, we have the door secured,” said Biggs-Craft. “Even if it's your own house, you'd still like to know if you're alone in the building you're alone in the building.”
The flag in front of the Jewish historical museum is being flown at half-mast and in front of the synagogue is a single flower.
Like many other synagogues in Canada, the synagogue in Saint John is planning a vigil in the wake of the shooting in Pittsburgh. They will be lighting 11 candles -- each one symbolizing a life that's been lost.
That vigil will take place Friday evening in Saint John and provide a time for those from near and far, to come together as a community in the wake of tragedy.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.