The first funerals for victims of that shooting in Pittsburgh are taking place this morning. Those services come on the same day that President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are visiting the city of Pittsburgh. Last night at a community gathering at Carnegie Mellon University, mourners paid tribute to those who were killed. NPR's Brakkton Booker has more.

BRAKKTON BOOKER, BYLINE: Not more than a mile from where a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue, mourners come together for continued healing.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: [Singing] May the source of strength who blessed the ones before us...

BOOKER: Countless tearful hugs are exchanged between students, faculty and clergy. This community is still in shock after 11 Jewish worshippers were killed Saturday. One of those was Joyce Feinberg. Interim provost Laurie Weingart says she had just seen Feinberg at a university event the day before she was killed.

LAURIE WEINGART: She cared for others who needed a helping hand, for members of her neighborhood and her synagogue. We will support and comfort one another as we try to make sense of what happened.

BOOKER: As this Jewish community copes with tragedy, some have mixed feelings about the president coming here. A group of progressive leaders penned an open letter saying, quote, "President Trump, you're not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism."

EVELYN PIERCE: I don't think that he understands that he is a lightning rod for division.

BOOKER: Evelyn Pierce teaches business management communication at Carnegie Mellon. She says she appreciates the president saying there should be an end to anti-Semitism but fears his presence here at this time may bring with it unwanted confrontations.

PIERCE: I think it will be a kind of clash.

BOOKER: Not all feel that way. The executive director of the D.C.-based Republican Jewish Coalition told CNN that Trump's condemnation of anti-Semitism was, quote, "very powerful and strong." White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump only wants to bring the country together, and adds that some of Trump's grandchildren, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, are Jewish.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: The president cherishes the American Jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country. He adores Jewish Americans as part of his own family.

BOOKER: At the Monday evening memorial, Rabbi Shlomo Silverman says he prays Trump's message will be one of unity.

SHLOMO SILVERMAN: I just hope that he's able to respect those that are here and show a message of positivity and light and not show any negativity.

BOOKER: Silverman adds, politics should not be brought up. Brakkton Booker, NPR News, Pittsburgh.

















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