Jewish leaders, 2006 Seattle shooting survivor react to Pittsburgh shooting

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SEATTLE -- The deadly shooting in Pittsburgh resonates with our local Jewish Community and people of all faiths.

“I think the hardest part is hearing it from our son who is only 13. Then from our daughter that’s eight and our daughter that’s 11," said Shauna Youssefnia, who attended a bar mitzvah at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle this afternoon.

Youssefnia says they’re struggling to explain to their children the violence at the Tree of Life Conservative Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh.

"They’re just trying to wrap their heads around this. It’s sad that they’re living in this day and age that this is kind of common place for them to read this type of news,” Youssefnia said.

The news of the shooting prompted the temple to also step up its security for today’s private ceremony. The Island Synagogue on Mercer Island says it will also consider adding more security and Rabbi Yechezkel Kornfeld says the tragedy in Pittsburgh is something they’ll never forget.

“The Shabbath is the holiest day of the week, in fact the holiest day of the year for Jewish people.  It makes the tragedy even worse that this senseless murder took place on this day of Shabbath," Kornfeld said.

Back in 2006, Naveed Haq shot and killed one person and injured five others at Seattle’s Jewish Federation. Cheryl Stumbo survived that attack and says anti-Semitism is still on the rise.

“When I turned on the news and heard this man was opening fire on a synagogue saying all Jews must die, it just turns my stomach and breaks my heart that this is going on in this country in these times," Stumbo said.

She says six years after being shot, she got involved with helping survivors of gun violence and has some advice for the survivors in Pittsburgh.

“I would just encourage people who are going through this right now to just take care of themselves and just focus on healing. Ignore the politics right now from a personal level, until they’re ready to do something,” Stumbo said.

The Anti-Defamation League says its survey shows that anti-Semitism increased nearly 60% in 2017.

Seattle Police say they are taking precautions and increasing surveillance near synagogues for now.

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