School Jewish Community Reflects on Tree of Life Shooting


Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Wikimedia Commons

Memorials are set up outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the October 27th shooting that killed 11 people (via Andrea Hanks, Wikimedia Commons).

On October 27, 2018, a gunman who frequently posted threats online proceeded to open fire at the crowded Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, injuring six people and killing 11, including a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor.

Type One interviewed the grandson of the rabbi at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue. His grandfather has been the rabbi there for nearly 30 years and knew all the victims.

“My family called the synagogue immediately after finding out about the shooting, wanting to know if he was safe,” he said. “We found out that he had taken the day off to take care of my grandmother who was ill; he would have been there if not, and that’s terrifying to think about.”

His parents are also rabbis and held a memorial at their synagogue, the Turnberry Jewish Center, where they lit candles for those who had fallen. However, he said he is still in awe that the shooting occurred.

“I never thought I would live in world where there was still anti-Semitism,” he said.

In response to the shooting, the Jewish Heritage Club wrote letters to the family members of the victims. Additionally, senior Deborah Ades, the club’s president, distributed resources to club members informing them of what modern anti-Semitism can look like.

“It was truly touching to see the Pine Crest Jewish community come together in solidarity and support of the victims of this attack,” Ades said.

She said her first instinct after finding out about the tragedy was to see how to best support the Jewish community and victims of not only the shooting, but of past anti-Semitic attacks.

“We need to inform ourselves on what anti-Semitism looks like, keep open minds to new cultures and perspectives, and stand up to the bullies and perpetrators of discrimination and hate,” Ades said.

Source: CNN