On Friday evening, the Yedid Nefesh synagogue in Karmiel, Israel held a memorial event marking one year since the attack on the three congregations housed in the Tree of Life building. Yedid Nefesh is a reform synagogue and many of its members made aliyah to Israel from the US, South America, and the FSU. Tomer and Galit Hoffman, Guy Hoffman’s (one of our current shinshinim) parents, organized this beautiful ceremony. In attendance were members of all religious faiths (Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze) living in the region, the former mayor of Karmiel, current and past lay-leaders from Partnership2Gether, Hadar Maravent (last year’s shinshinit) and general community members. In addition, the CEO from the Palm Beach Federation, Michael Hoffman, and several major donors to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh from Palm Beach attended the ceremony. The Chair of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, also sent a video message which opened the ceremony.
After lighting 11 candles in memory of the 11 killed, the 150 or so people in attendance went outside the synagogue to plant a tree, placing rocks with the names of all 11 victims around it. It was an incredibly touching ceremony that brought together Jews from all over the world to remember and unite with Pittsburgh.
Wishing all of you a day full of remembrance, reflection and community.