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More than 200 people circled the Sikh Temple of Spokane in 2012/Tracy Simmons

UPDATE: Arms of Compassion event canceled

More than 200 people circled the Sikh Temple of Spokane in 2012/Tracy Simmons
More than 200 people circled the Sikh Temple of Spokane in 2012/Tracy Simmons

UPDATE, 4 p.m., April 23: Due to security concerns Arms of Compassion Around Our Jewish Neighbors has been canceled. Temple Beth Shalom, instead,  welcome the community’s solidarity at the Yom Hashoah event, which begins at 7 p.m.

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April 21:

The Rev. Todd Eklof, pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, is organizing another Arms of Compassion event, this time at Temple Beth Shalom.

“In the aftermath of the mindless violence and hate against the Jewish Community in Kansas City last Sunday (April 13), it is time for the entire Spokane community to mobilize as a show of our support and solidarity with our local Jewish friends and neighbors,” he said.

The first Arms of Compassion event was held at the Sikh Gudwarwa of Spokane in response to the 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. While local Sikhs worshiped inside, hundreds of Spokane residents formed a protective circle outside the gudwara.

“It’s an opportunity to express compassion … all we had to do was open up the opportunity for people to let their love flow,” Eklof said in a 2012 interview.

Arms of Compassion Around Our Jewish Neighbors will take place April 27 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at TBS, 1322 E 30th Ave, where both of Spokane’s Jewish faith communities —Temple Beth Shalom and Congregation Emanu-el — will be holding a joint Yom Hashoah service.

Yom Hashoah is an annual Holocaust Day of Remembrance.

“This will be an appropriate and solemn occasion for the larger Spokane community to stand against hate, violence, and prejudice in every age, by symbolically embracing our Jewish friends and neighbors in a circle of compassion and protection as they enter into their place of worship,” Eklof said.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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One comment

  1. An excellent idea, Todd. We will try to send a Salem Lutheran delegation.

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