Jewish club at Oakland school discusses Pittsburgh tragedy, anti-Semitism

 For some Jewish students at the College Preparatory School in Oakland, the slaughter in a Pittsburgh synagogue was so disturbing they wanted to talk about it with each other along with a school administrator.

"What if that had happened in my synagogue, I just felt terrified," said one student, who is part of the school's Jewish Club, on Monday.

"I kind of want to run a way and go to some random island. But that's not going to stop anything," said another student.

The students, mostly seniors,  say they've never personally experienced antisemitism..that it was something that existed in foreign countries in stories their grandparents told them.

"It was so shocking to have it come so close in my country," said a student.

One student said she didn't want to trouble her non-Jewish friends with her feelings about this. Another questioned whether the shootings was being taken seriously enough.

"It didn't feel like this had hit the national consciousness. Yes its another mass shooting and a lot of people are numb to it," a student said.

"It saddened me how much fear these kids are carrying," said Steve Chabon, dean of students.

For Chabon, the shootings hit particularly close to home. He lived  in the neighborhood of Pittsburgh as an adolescent. And two brothers who are among the dead, Cecil and David Rosenthal were his next- door neighbors for three years. 

 "They were beautiful souls. Innocent. Simple in so many ways. And yet such beautiful human beings," said Chabon.

The brothers were both mentally challenged. Chabon says, even as teenagers,  they loved welcoming people to the synagogue.

"I think who will sit in their chairs, who will take on their role as greeters. Or will that be lost to this community forever," Chabon said.