Around 200 people gathered at Temple Emanuel in Lakeland this evening to remember the 11 people who were shot to death Saturday in a hate crime at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Speakers included Sheriff Grady Judd, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross and City Commissioner Scott Franklin. Temple Emanuel Rabbi David Goldstein, Chabad Jewish Center Rabbi Moshe Lazaros and Pastor Mike Louden, who retires this week from the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, also spoke at the ceremony on the synagogue lawn overlooking Lake Hollingsworth. A dozen local clergy members sat behind the speakers. Video of the service follows, and we’ll add links to area media coverage:
There were scenes of joy as those who had been away for years, even decades, returned and were greeted with hugs and laughter. And there were tears, too, for the loss, not of a person but of a place and the fellowship that lived there.
The staff at LALtoday, which officially launches next week (details here), have curated a useful calendar of some of the top events taking place in Lakeland in August. (For those not familiar with it, LALtoday is a locally-produced product of 6AM City, a Greenville, S.C.-based audience development company recruited by the Lakeland Economic Development Council to expand the newsletter, social media and web outreach that was formerly done through YLakeland.)