Given that the flow of donations to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Victims of Terror fund has mostly stopped, the Federation is closing the Victims of Terror Fund to further donations, with the exception of money that has already been pledged but has not yet been collected.
Any additional money that comes in to the Victims of Terror Fund after February 22, 2019 will still help the community recover. This money will be directed to psychological services, support for families, general services, reconstruction, additional security throughout the community and additional resources to help our youth process this tragic episode. These goals are consistent with the original description of the Victims of Terror Fund.
Committees within the Jewish Federation will determine how this money will be allocated in the three general categories of security, mental health and memorialization/education. The independent committee that decided the distribution of the bulk of the Victims of Terror Fund will not be involved in distributing additional money added after February 22, 2019.
An independent distribution committee, comprising some of the most respected civic leaders in Pittsburgh, is now in the process of determining an equitable distribution of money donated to the Fund for Victims of Terror, with the highest level of oversight, and with the input of the congregations affected. Many of these individuals and organizations have already provided input. See our past press release for more on this committee.
The Jewish Federation played a critical role in many areas of the response to the Oct. 27 shooting. Some highlights:
- Until money can be distributed equitably, the Jewish Federation guaranteed loans from Hebrew Free Loan for victims’ families and injured parties.
- Jewish Federation maintains a list of ongoing resources and publicizes counseling opportunities.
- Jewish Federation has distributed most of the donations of goods and services donated.
- We continue to organize volunteers and support-service providers, including rabbis.
- The Jewish Federation brought together community members for a community Shloshim to observe the traditional end of the 30-day period of mourning.
- We are working with the Jewish Community Center (JCC), Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) and other Pittsburgh organizations and government representatives to ensure that victims receive government-related sources of compensation if they are eligible.
- Our Jewish Community Security Director has added training sessions and building assessments for numerous organizations and synagogues, improving security for thousands of people since Oct. 27.