The fatal shootings of 11 Jewish men and women at a Pittsburgh synagogue in a hate-fueled attack in October brought back painful memories for Anita Zucker’s mother, a Holocaust survivor.
“It just made everything so vivid and so real,” the Charleston businesswoman and philanthropist, whose mother will turn 95 on Wednesday, said Tuesday night.
Helping to mark the night were Gov. Henry McMaster, his wife, Peggy, state Rep. Beth Bernstein and former state Sen. Joel Lourie. The State House menorah is named for Lourie’s father, the late state Sen. Isadore Lourie.
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“For the past five weeks, we have been in mourning, grieving for the lost lives, the family and the friends of the dead and wounded,” said Rabbi Hesh Epstein, head of Chabad of South Carolina. “Suddenly, being Jewish in America was being compared to the darkest days of European anti-semitism.”
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said he will work to ensure Columbia does not tolerate the rhetoric that motivated the Pittsburgh shooter.
“We’ll be intolerant to racism. We’ll be intolerant to bigotry,” he said. ”We’ll be intolerant to antisemitism. We’ll be intolerant to hate, and we will work every single day to make sure that this year ... (that) we will do everything we can locally, nationally and globally to make sure these things never happen ever again.”