One role of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh—and Jewish Federations in most cities in the U.S. and Canada—is to offer the Jewish community a trusted way to give money to help in crises around the world. Pittsburgh Jewish donors have helped in crisis situations as diverse as attacks against Israel, the earthquake in Nepal and the fires in California. We set up the fundraising effort for the New Zealand Muslim community assuming that only the Pittsburgh Jewish community would be interested in giving, and we did not expect more than a few dozen people to give.
Although we try to give Jewish Pittsburgh an opportunity to give in many different crises, we were definitely motivated in part in this case by the enormous support that the Pittsburgh Muslim community gave to Jewish Pittsburgh after the October 27, 2018 attack on three Jewish congregations. We felt the need to support the Pittsburgh Muslim community because unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community. We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.
We have been truly overwhelmed and gratified by the international response to this fund for the New Zealand Muslim community. Here are some of those stories: