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March 9, 2020 4:28 pm

Families of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Victims to Receive $3 Million From Solidarity Donations

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Police tape lines a sidewalk in front of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the October 2018 shooting attack there. Photo: Reuters / Alan Freed.

Relatives of victims who were killed or wounded in the October 2018 gun massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue will receive more than $3 million from funds raised in the aftermath of the attack.

Eleven worshipers at the synagogue, which housed three congregations, were murdered and two more wounded during the shooting rampage by neo-Nazi Robert Bowers. Their families will now share just over three million dollars from the total of $5.45 million that was raised from individual donors in an outpouring of public solidarity.

The distribution of the funds was announced on Monday, following the recommendations of an independent committee that was established by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh last August.

A statement accompanying the committee’s findings noted that an “important step in the process of honoring the intent of donors was to review all of the contributions to determine how the individual donor intended the funds to be used. The Committee said it respected this information where it was available and took great care to understand and honor donor intent when such information could be established.”

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Individuals who were trapped in the building during the attack will share more than $200,000, the statement said. Two of the congregations in the building — Congregation Dor Hadash and New Light Congregation — will each receive $240,000 for rebuilding costs. The Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha Congregation is set to receive $1.275 million for rebuilding.

“Tree of Life, together with New Light Congregation and Congregation Dor Hadash, who also lost cherished congregants in this attack, have been the recipients of so much love, goodwill and support, and for that we are grateful,” Sam Schachner — president of the Tree of Life Congregation — said in a statement on Monday. “We will forever keep in our hearts the memories of those who were lost and those who continue to grieve and suffer. We also recognize the goodness of so many from around the world who cared enough to help remind us what we lost and why we remember.”

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