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February 25, 2019 11:27 am

Pittsburgh Mayor Visits Jerusalem Memorial for Tree of Life Synagogue Victims

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Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto visits the Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Memorial Plaque in Jerusalem on Feb. 24, 2019. Photo: Rafi Ben Hakun/KKL-JNF.

JNS.org – Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto visited the memorial plaque in Jerusalem on Sunday established to remember the 11 Jewish victims of the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting in October.

The memorial was established several weeks after the tragedy and is located at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza created by the Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) and Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA).

“I have a long history with the Tree of Life congregation; I knew some of the victims personally,” said Peduto after seeing the plaque. “Unlike 80 years ago, when Jews were murdered, when synagogues were destroyed and businesses were shattered, when the community called this time, the police didn’t turn their back, they ran in to help.”

“Politicians didn’t look the other way or try to hide, they stood up and said never again,” he continued. “And business leaders and community leaders gathered as one and said ‘an attack against one is an attack against us all.’”

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After touring the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, KKL-JNF conducted a formal planting ceremony, where the Pittsburgh mayor planted an olive tree, symbolizing peace and continuity.

“JNF-USA is the voice linking America and Israel. We know that when tragedy befalls either of our communities, we stand together to strengthen one another,” said the organization’s CEO, Russel Robinson. “We are proud to represent the Pittsburgh community in Israel as an enduring reminder of this unshakeable bond.”

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