SARATOGA, Calif. (KTVU) - Following Saturday's shooting at a Pittsburg synagogue, organizers of the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival have increased security. They're also receiving an outpouring of support from other members of the faith community.
"The reality in today's world is that we needed to figure out very quickly what we needed to do." said Mark Levine, board president for the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival.
They hired a private security company that employs armed, off-duty officers. And they put out a call for volunteers: people they hoped would provide an extra set of eyes and ears at the theater.
The response they got was overwhelming. Representatives from several churches and a mosque reached out.
"Your presence will send a very strong message," thought Hasan Rahim, from the Evergreen Islamic Center.
And so he came to the festival Sunday night. He says it was important to show not just support but unity.
"We cannot just do this thing in the wake of a tragedy. It has to become more regular. And we get together, not just over religion but over other aspects of life," he said.
The festival's organizers say they're touched.
"It was extraordinary just to see the response from our different kind of communities who stepped up and are still stepping up," said Festival Executive Director Tzvia Shelef said.
"It feels good. And it's the American thing to do. This is not a Jewish issue. This is an American issue," Levine said.
This is only the second time in 27 years, that the film festival has stepped up security like this. The other had been in 2002, following turmoil in Israel.
But they say patrons haven't been frightened away, in fact yesterday both screenings were sold out.
"We're seeing great numbers even after this tragedy on the weekend. People I think are actually looking to come and enjoy a little life," Shelef said.
The remaining screenings of the festival are taking place at the AMC 14 in Saratoga. It runs though November 11th.