The Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill will host a gathering tonight focusing on the conflict in and around Gaza. It's called "Stand With Israel: A Community Gathering and Briefing." It begins at 5:30 pm. The program will include an address by Israel Consul Avi Zairi of the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia.
Edgar Snyder, who chairs the United Jewish Federation's Israel and World Jewry Commission, will also speak. He says the gathering is an opportunity for people to show their support for Israel, concern and sympathy for the victims of attacks, and hope for peace. Snyder visited the Israeli city of Sderot about seven weeks ago. That was before the recent flareup, but he says the city, which is just a couple miles from Gaza, was already seeing some rocket attacks. He says the police station there serves as a museum where all of the bombs that have hit the city are displayed.
Snyder says Jewish and Muslim leaders in Pittsburgh have had ongoing dialogue about their feelings about conflict in the region. Even though they're on opposite sides of the debate, Snyder says it's easier to discuss it here since the violence is in another part of the world.