Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival hires armed security

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The Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival has added armed security in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. (KGO-TV)

The impact of the Pittsburgh mass shooting has had a ripple effect on a Jewish film festival in the South Bay. Hired security has been added.

There has been offers of help from members of the Christian and Muslim communities.

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The Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival took that step immediately, even though there has never been a threat in the 27 years of the festival's existence.

"These are people who work for a private security company and are from various police forces, either retired or after hours work," said Mark Levine, president of the Festival's board.

RELATED: Bay Area continues to honor synagogue shooting victims

The Festival typically draws about 8,000 people over the course of four weeks. On Sunday, there was a show of solidarity by representatives from the Christian and Muslim communities. San Jose City College math professor Hasan Rahim, who directs outreach for the Evergreen Muslim Center, spoke to the audience.

"If you need more manpower, here we are," he told the audience. "And that's exactly what my wife and I and a few others went there to say that's we're from another faith, but it doesn't matter. We're all in this together. Whatever we can do, we'll do."

The Film Festival has been underway for two weeks with two more weeks before closing on November 11th. One of tonight's featured films is a drama in Hebrew about a young man's struggle between family obligations and his own aspirations. That will be followed by a comedy about the ups and downs of a French couple.

RELATED: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: What we know about the 11 victims

Festival executive director Tzvia Shelef says she understands how the tragedy in Pittsburgh might cause some to stay away, but the support of people from other faiths has been touching.

"Every community is offering this help, offering this help to come and help us out - safety, security, just to show love, and it's really extraordinary," she said.

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securityfilm festivaljewishreligionpittsburgh synagogue shootingmoviesSan Jose
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