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October 27, 2019 8:03 pm

Leading Jewish Groups Join Pittsburgh Community to Mark First Anniversary of Tree of Life Massacre

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The facade of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nov. 3, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Alan Freed / File.

Pittsburgh and its Jewish community were joined by political and communal leaders on Sunday as they marked the one-year anniversary of the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue with memorials and ceremonies.

According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, community events were planned including the creation of gift bags, blood drives, and charitable initiatives.

A local synagogue organized a special session of Torah study to mark the anniversary. An ecumenical service entitled “Remember. Repair. Together” was held. Free bus transport was provided to those attending the service.

The local football team the Pittsburgh Steelers will observe a moment of silence before a game on Monday night.

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Team president Art Rooney II said, “On this anniversary of the tragic day in our city when innocent people were gunned down in the Tree of Life Synagogue, we pause to offer our thoughts and prayers for the families of those who lost their lives, as well as those who survived that terrible day.”

“Since that day, our community has resolved to stay stronger than hate and antisemitism,” he said.

“As we did a year ago, we will again ask our fans at the game on Monday night to stand together and observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims and their families,” Rooney concluded.

The American Jewish Committee tweeted the names of the victims and said, “Not a day has gone by this past year when we have not remembered the 11 victims of the worst antisemitic attack in American history. Today we honor their memory and stand with the Pittsburgh Jewish community in mourning their great loss.”

Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt visited Pittsburgh to mark the anniversary, and tweeted, “As I’m on the ground today in #Pittsburgh, I am motivated and inspired to take action to fight the violent #antiSemitism that was at the root of last year’s #hateful attack.”

The World Jewish Congress said, “One year later, we are standing with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. Today, and every day, we remember the eleven lives lost at the Tree of Life synagogue.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement, “We are one year removed from the worst antisemitic attack in the history of the United States.”

“The Jewish people face the rising tide of this ancient bigotry around the world; Jews in Israel, Europe, the US, and elsewhere are experiencing renewed attacks and instances of antisemitism,” he pointed out.

“Everyone — Jews and non-Jews alike — must give no quarter to this bigotry and we must confront it wherever it exists,” Danon said. “We must make sure what happened in Pittsburgh never happens again.”

Eleven worshipers were murdered in the mass shooting attack last year committed by a far-right gunman.

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