Judaism, Synagogue, Pittsburgh, Pa, Shooting (2018), Tree Of Life, Archive, Pittsburgh

Judaism, Synagogue

Memorializing Tragedy at a Pittsburgh Synagogue Through Faith, History and Good Works

The three congregations that shared the Tree of Life synagogue are taking different approaches one year after a mass shooting left 11 worshipers dead.


On October 27, 2018, 11 worshipers were shot to death by an anti-Semitic gunman at Shabbat service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh . One year later, the memorials continue: “For a tragedy like this, the work is never done.”

The three congregations that shared the Tree of Life synagogue are taking different approaches one year after a mass shooting left 11 worshipers dead.

PITTSBURGH — In early September, James Young, an international expert in public memorials, came to speak to the local Jewish community.

The deliberately small New Light congregation was immersed in intimate and deep reflection

“The Pittsburgh community,” Professor Young said, “gets this at its core.”

Many of the survivors grew up in these three congregations, the children of older members whose roots ran even deeper. They also happened to be full of Pittsburgh university faculty — historians, scholars and archivists — for whom recording history was second nature. A member of Dor Hadash was the former director of the

“It’s a combination of the fact that it’s truly historic, and it’s a community that appreciates this value of being able to go back and connect with older things,” said Eric Lidji, the current director of the Rauh archive, who along with members of the congregations has spent the

It is often said by members of the congregations that the tragedy had concentric circles of grief: the families, the congregations, the local Jewish community, the larger Pittsburgh community and on out. From early on it was clear that Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha, the congregation for which the synagogue building was named and which lost seven members in the shooting, was going to become the public symbol of the attack.

“The community on a much wider scale than just Tree of Life is dealing with the issue of how you memorialize those events,” he said.

of flowers and candles and tokens of sympathy began to grow under the stained-glass windows of the building that bears its name, Tree of Life has accepted being the public face, “whether they like it or not,” Professor Young said.

But they will at New Light, a small 120-year-old conservative shul. They will make sense of this with each other, in prayer and study.

At a feast five months later during the Jewish holiday of Purim, in the brightly lit banquet room of the synagogue where New Light now meets, Rabbi Perlman was onstage putting on a goofy, lighthearted Purim play along with his wife and the two other people from that closet who had survived.

Among the members of Dor Hadash, the memorial most often discussed is this: action. Doing something. Right now.

On Thursday afternoon the group organized its memorial, along the Pittsburgh riverfront, with 11 empty chairs signifying those who were killed. A crowd of people lined up to place stones and flowers in memory of victims of gun violence. Fliers that were handed out included the phone numbers of politicians and lists of specific gun control policies.

Read more: The New York Times

Who cares? 🖕 RIP 😪 It has been 1 year past since the senseless tragedy. Prayers to those we lost and those who survived. The failure and blame should fall on trump for inciting increased anti-Semitic violence IMO . Please stand against the tyranny America 🙏 😘😢 BeautyBind 😢 rip so sad Prior to 9/11, the largest terror attack was done by “my fellow Americans”. As a native Pittsburgher I feel we need to cut funding for security theater and forever wars, and focus instead on the 1 threat to our republic: white nationalist terrorism

💔 Unfortunately we will now hav 2 tragedies to mourn on this day, a mass shooting happened in Texas

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Has Bibi said anything about it? Is there a reason you chose to not directly identify the 11 slain as Jews? Here we are, celebrating the death of the ISIS leader, and we haven’t done anything to stem the rising tide of white supremacist terrorism.

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