On Wednesday, January 14th, members of our community came together for a Memorial for Paris Victims of Terror, convened by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and hosted by Sinai Temple.
The evening program was held in the temple sanctuary, where Chairman of the Board Leslie E. Bider welcomed attendees and invited Cantor Tiffani Coyot of Temple Isaiah to lead the group in singing the national anthems of the United States and France.
Consul General of France Alex Cruau spoke passionately about last week’s tragic incidents and said, “We stand against terrorists. Thanks to everyone here tonight, we know that France is not alone.” Consul General of Israel David Siegel remembered the four French Jews laid to rest this week in Israel. He also reminded the group of the need to stand together with France and our allies and confront radical Islam.
Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe recited the 23rd Psalm and inspired mourners with his hopeful words. “We walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We mourn, we grieve, but we don’t give up,” he said. “We will not be afraid because to be afraid is to give in to the darkness.”
As the crowd sat in quiet reverence, Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson called civic leaders and rabbis to the stage to light 17 candles in remembrance of the 17 French citizens who were murdered. The names of the fallen were then read by Clara-Lisa Kabbaz of the Lycee Francais. After a moment of silence, Jacob and Julie Kantor performed a musical offering and then Rabbi Sarah Hronsky of Temple Beth Hillel expressed gratitude to Lassana Bathily, the Muslim employee who saved the lives of seven during the attack at Hyper Cacher kosher market. She went on to read Each of Us Has Name by Israeli poet Zelda.
Rabbi Morley Feinstein of University Synagogue recited El Maleh Rachamim. Rabbi Eli Herscher of Stephen S. Wise recited Kaddish. The evening concluded with Cantor Gole of Sinai Temple leading the group in Hatikvah and Oseh Shalom. After the community said their goodbyes and went back to their daily lives, the 17 candles of remembrance flickered on the empty bimah. Sorrow for the fallen of Paris and their loved ones continues to fill the hearts of people everywhere.
To help aid the families of the victims of French terror and enhance security at Jewish institutions and synagogues throughout France, click here.