Tree of Life congregant visits Jewish Center of Norwich 6 months after Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting

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NORWICH (WBNG) — Eric Cohen, a member of the Tree of Life congregation, visited the Jewish Center of Norwich to share his story and speak on the recent anti-Semitic incidents.

Cohen was not at temple on the day of the shooting in Pittsburgh, saying that he was feeling ill that day. For him, that decision changed his life.

“I just felt numb at the fact that I’ve never known anyone who’s been murdered. That’s not a feeling I wish anyone to know,” said Cohen.

He says he’s lucky to be alive.

“I’m alive. I’m lucky to be alive, I’m happy to be alive. That was not my first thought. My first thought was originally, who would I have known to have been in there. There was at least a half dozen people that I could think of, and about five of those people were actually in there,” Cohen described.

Now, exactly six months later, to the day, a shooting in San Diego occurred at a Synagogue during the Jewish holiday of Passover. For Cohen, the spike in anti-Semitic incidents may have to do with internet access.

“It’s a much easier to believe something when other people agree with you, and the Internet provides that type of environment and the anonymity as well,” said Cohen.

Cohen blames ignorance for these actions, and encourages people to learn about others instead of hating them.

Katie Jones

Katie Jones

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