WEST HARTFORD - The overarching response to the deadly synagogue shooting from synagogues in Connecticut has been we must beware, but also stand up to hate.
There was a police presence Sunday evening at West Hartford's Beth El Temple for the congregation's annual Holocaust commemoration.
"Whether it be a synagogue a church or a mosque, these are sacred places where people go to feel safe and practice their religion should be able to do so freely without fear of being attacked." said Peter Fishman, President of Voices of Hope.
The common feeling Sunday evening: hate groups feel emboldened.
"One thing that’s become clear, I am a historian, is that, if we don’t speak out and confront these types of hatred, it’s going to get even worse," said Avinoam Patt, Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Hartford.
"The overarching theme of the holocaust and it’s lessons is never again," said Rabbi James Rosen of Beth El Temple. "Never should that you wish people, other people, be subject to genocide, just kind of wanted hatred and yet here we are again."
One of the keys to ending this trend, religious leaders believe, is communicating with others who might be different from you.
"And to speak to them and welcome them and welcome the stranger and talk to them and find out ways that we have a lot in common," said Patt.
Earlier Sunday, other local Jewish leaders reacted the Poway California synagogue attack, which came on the final day of Passover, which celebrates freedom from oppression.
"The best way that we can honor their loss and the loss of those who are injured and the families it’s really by re-doubling our efforts and goodness and kindness and make sure that everyone knows that we’re not gonna let the hate stop love," said Rabbi Josef Wolvovsky of the Chabad Jewish Center in Glastonbury.
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven will hold its Holocaust commemoration next Sunday, may 5, at 1 p.m. at The Towers in New Haven. They will also offer special prayers of remembrance for those murdered in Pittsburgh, PA and Poway, CA.