Remembering Pittsburgh One Year Later

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Nearly a year has passed since October 27, 2018, that Shabbat morning none of us will ever forget, that shattering day when 11 innocent people lost their lives in the horrific attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the worst antisemitic attack in American history.

In the days following, we joined hands to grieve, support one another, and resolve that as a community, we will stand together, vigilant against hatred and determined to secure our collective future.

As we mark one year after the attack, all of us will have an opportunity to honor those we lost and re-commit to strengthening our Jewish community. This is a time to let the Pittsburgh community know we stand with them always by sending messages of love, be they photos, videos, or a few heartfelt words. And those messages of love are for all Jewish communities around the world that have been victimized by acts of hate.

Here are three ways to meaningfully participate:

  1. Share in a global moment of remembrance by signing up here to receive a text and become part of Pause with Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 27, at 2 pm Pacific. This will include a mourning prayer, the names of the 11 people who lost their lives, and a link to a livestream of the public memorial service in Pittsburgh.
  2. Step up with the Anti-Defamation League to take 11 Actions to honor the 11 Lives lost a year ago. Visit this link to learn how you can join.
  3. Join the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and gather with neighbors and #ShowUpForShabbat at congregations across the country tonight and tomorrow. Click here to find a local participating congregation.

Many of you have seen the disturbing findings from the survey the AJC released this week on antisemitism in the United States. Nine out of 10 American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem in our country. Over 80 percent say that the problem has worsened over the past five years. Nearly one-third of American Jews have avoided displaying identifying signs of Judaism, for example a kippah or a Star of David necklace.

Most recently, over the past weekend white supremacist graffiti was sprayed on the Holocaust Center for Humanity building in Seattle, an appalling, malevolent example of antisemitism in our midst.

The survey results and hate incidents are a strong reminder that in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of hatred, it’s all hands on deck. Each of us can and must act – by taking responsibility for one another, raising our voices, and collaborating with allies across communities.

When we stand united, we are stronger. Let us come together in community, honor the memory of the friends we lost, and reaffirm our sacred obligation of Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh – all Jews are responsible for one another.