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Last week a lot of things happened. Things that for me, an 18 year old girl, who came to the USA two months ago, were a surprise.

Last Saturday there was a mass shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An unthinkable killing – a man murdered 11 Jewish people only because they were Jewish. We have a lot of different types of terror attacks in Israel, but none like this. I never imagined that something like this could happen.

For me, mass shootings were always something really far away, something that could never happen to me. It is something that you hear about and it gives you the chills, it makes your heart pound really fast and fills your phone with calls and text messages from people around the world. Something that changes everyone’s feelings, from end to end, in seconds. Police cars everywhere, sad faces all around, parents who’s hearts miss a beat every time their kids leave the house and, worst of all… actual fear. People who are scared to go to the place that houses their soul houses…their synagogues.

But, to be honest with you, instead of being scared…I was very surprised.

I was surprised by the way people here reacted.

I was surprised by the support the Jewish community got from various organizations.

I was surprised by the media and the amount of attention the international media gave the mass shooting.

I was surprised by assemblies held in support of the Jewish community around the USA.

I was surprised by the courage of the Rabbis trying to maintain a regular routine.

I was surprised to find out how hard it is to be a Jewish person here. That it means that you have to take risks every single day.

But the thing that surprised me the most, was that even with all the evil and craziness in this world… There are a lot of kind, loving, supporting and caring people who really want to make changes and take a step forward to a better world.

I want to say thank you to all of the people who helped, cared and contributed time and money, all to help make the Jewish community, and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh in particular, feel stronger and safer today.

The more we’ll give the more we’ll get 🙂

Have a wonderful week,
Lir Barazani
ת.נ.צ.ב.ה.