Brazilian team wears names of Pittsburgh victims

Brazilian team wears names of Pittsburgh victims

They weren’t the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But a football team in Sao Paulo, Brazil, marked the murders in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The 11 Corinthians who competed in the Brazilian Championship tournament match wore uniforms featuring the names of the 11 victims.

The Corinthans lost, 1-0.

The shirts will be auctioned off, in partnership with the Sao Paulo Jewish federation. The money will go toward the construction of a monument against intolerance and to Ten Yad, a Jewish charity fighting hunger in Brazil.

Andres Sanchez, president of the Corinthians, explained the commemoration.

“The massacre in Pittsburgh during the Jewish religious service has hurt our fundamental values,” he said. “That’s why we took the decision to honor the victims of this irrational act of violence and call for all peoples to coexist in harmony and respect of differences.”

Persio Bider, president of the Organized Jewish Youth organization, called the soccer club’s initiative “unprecedented.”

“As a Jewish activist and a Corinthians supporter, I feel honored and greatly represented by understanding that the message against hatred against Jews must be emphasized and disseminated for all,” he said.

Special ceremonies to honor the Pittsburgh victims were held in several Brazilian Jewish institutions, including synagogues, schools, and clubs.

“These things cannot be repeated. Each of us must be an example aiming at a better world. Remembering and repulsing acts of prejudice is the best way to fight such outbreaks of barbarity. Baruch dayan emet,” Sanchez said, using the Hebrew expression meaning “blessed is the true judge,” which people say when they first hear of a death.

Founded in 1910, the Corinthians are one of Brazil’s most popular teams, with more than 30 million fans. A holder of several national and international titles, it was listed by Forbes as the most valuable soccer club in the Americas in 2017. It’s estimated to be worth $576.9 million.

JTA Wire Service 

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