Hundreds Gather in Skokie to Support Poway Chabad Victims

A gathering of unity Monday night was organized in Skokie to support the congregants of the California Poway Chabad shooting.

Hundreds arrived with emphatic expression.

“Never, never will we surrender to darkness, to coldness and to hatred," a rabbi who spoke to the large crowd said to applause.

Attendees signed guestbooks that will be sent to Poway congregants who just laid to rest their one member who did not survive.

"So many of us are with them in spirit and sharing their grief," one Skokie congregant said.

Jews from all over the Chicago area converging on the Skokie Holiday Inn with an immediate and serious purpose. Among them was Steve Nasatir of the Chicago Jewish Federation.

"We will not surrender to destructive divisiveness," he said.

The parents of the 19-year-old accused gunman released their own statement Monday expressing dismay.

“Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know and ideas we do not hold," they wrote. "How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us."

The gathering concluded with a taped message from the wounded rabbi of Chabad Poway. His words have often been repeated since the weekend attack and so many before it.

"Let them see that nothing will take us down," he said.

Nasatir called on all people of faith to no longer be silent in the face of hate or hateful rhetoric.

"Anti-Semitism is the worlds’s oldest hatred,” he said.

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