In the immediate aftermath, Jews of every background united to share our sorrow and strength, joining with others to organize #SolidarityShabbat to show that we would not succumb to hate. We reached out to the Pittsburgh federation, offering whatever logistical help we could, which they gratefully accepted. But it wasn’t Jews alone. People of every faith came to offer comfort, contributing to Pittsburgh’s Solidarity Fund, wanting to help a shattered community heal. In another extraordinary display of solidarity, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed the mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew on its front page.
With all this kindness and support, it was clear Pittsburgh would find a way forward.
To mark the year since that horrific day, we’re once again organizing our community to stand up against anti-Semitism and hate. Tonight and tomorrow, we invite you to join Jews of every stripe as we #ShowUpForShabbat in a display of solidarity. You can take action by signing our petition in support of the NO HATE Act, which will incentivize more cities to report hate crimes to the FBI, making it easier for law enforcement to monitor hate and combat anti-Semitism. On Sunday, October 27, at 5:00 pm, you can #PauseWithPittsburgh by participating in a livestream public memorial service.
Also on Sunday, we’re partnering with AJC New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and Central Synagogue for a Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism and a memorial event for the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. You can register for the program here.
We hope you will join in any way you can.
Pittsburgh was a turning point for many. Some are more aware of the emergency exits as they pray in shul. Others express increased apprehension as they drop off their children at Hebrew school. No doubt, Poway, Halle, and the slew of anti-Jewish incidents in our own backyard have contributed to this sense of continuing unease.
None of this is a normal we should accept. Normal is our 2,000 New York-area Jewish institutions doing what we do best — providing meaningful, welcoming places for Jewish life to flourish. That’s why UJA is creating a communitywide plan to significantly enhance security at these institutions. Because in the face of anti-Semitism, we choose to live expansive, full-hearted Jewish lives. That’s how we best honor the 11 people lost to us at the Tree of Life.
May their memories be for a blessing.