SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — In the wake of the horrific weekend attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 people dead, organizers who put together the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival are boosting security for the remainder of the event.
While there has never been a security incident in the festival’s 27 year history, the people behind the event said it was the right thing to do to reassure the audience and help them feel safe in the wake of the tragedy over the weekend.
Some 8,000 people will attend the film festival over a one-month span.
When word got out about the plans for increased security, local religious leaders stepped up to provide volunteers, including the Evergreen Islamic Center based in South San Jose.
Film Festival President Mark Levine said to have a local mosque reach out like that makes them feel like they’re not alone.
“This is not a Jewish issue. This is an American issue,” said Levine. “And this is Americans saying, ‘We will not tolerate this kind of hate. We will not tolerate this kind of evil.’ And you can’t put a price on that. It’s so significant and so gratifying.”
“They cannot divide us based on race, religion or culture,” said Hasan Rahim with the Evergreen Islamic Center. “We are all in this together. That we will not stand for anything that attacks our fundamental values.”
Organizers plan to have increased security for the rest of the festival which runs through November 11.
After the Saturday shooting, attendance at the festival spiked during the weekend, with several screenings selling out.
For more information on the festival, please visit the Silicon Valley Film Festival website.