Jewish Federation Statement on the Tragedy at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh joins the entire Pittsburgh community in mourning the people in our city killed and injured in the senseless violence today at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation.

Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation made these comments:

“Today our city, which has ordinarily been among the most safe and secure in the nation, was rocked by horrible tragedy. My heart is broken, and I offer my condolences to the friends and family of those killed. I hope and pray for healing for everyone affected and for all of us who are sickened by these recent events. We are truly all family in the Pittsburgh Jewish community, so these deaths have affected me and all of us as would a death in the family.

“Thank you to our brave first responders, some of who were reported wounded. We have had an excellent relationship with the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Police, and their response in this emergency was exemplary.

“Many synagogues share the sacred space where this tragedy occurred, including the combined Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, a Conservative congregation, and Dor Hadash, a Reconstructionist congregation. An attack of any kind—and especially an attack on a place of worship—is despicable. Violence has no place in our society or in our community.

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will work in the coming days and weeks, alongside our many community partners, Jewish agencies and synagogues, to bring the Jewish community and all of Pittsburgh together to mourn, to help those affected and to heal. We are stronger than the tragedies that befall us because we are strong together.”

For the bereaved families, we offer the traditional Jewish condolences, “May the families of the fallen be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” We also offer a Refuah Shlema, a traditional Jewish prayer for healing for those injured and for all sickened by this tragedy.

We will continue to update the community as new information emerges. Please visit jewishpgh.org or www.facebook.com/jfedpgh/ for developments and information.

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