Two years after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, the Mallinger and Wedner Families gathered at the Tree of Life Synagogue to remember their mother Rose Mallinger.
We were honored to spend time with the Mallinger Family on Tuesday, and with the Jewish community members and Pittsburgh residents who masked up, and observed social distancing to be with each other briefly at the Tree of Life building. Another year has passed since the first commemoration, and because of the pandemic it was not possible to organize in-person events like those that took place one year after the attack.
But at 9:46 AM, Mayor Peduto joined Rabbi Myers at the synagogue for a moment of silence. Rabbi Myers said that “I think our community here has learned that they’re not alone. For the Tree of Life, we’re a community, we’re a family, we’re here for each other. If one is in pain, we’re all in pain, and that’s the way it has continued since that day.”
And so despite the pandemic, the Days of Caring continued. The families of the victims shared a conviction that their loved ones would be most honored by actions of service. Rabbi Ron Symons of the Jewish Community Center joined with an Evangelical pastor and an Imam from a Masjid in the nearby Wilkinsburg neighborhood to distribute boxes of food in the community.
Thousands and thousands of people in PIttsburgh have gathered to remember the 11 people who lost their lives in a massacre fueled by hate at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018. Three congregations shared the building and the loss: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash and New Light. In the weeks after the attack a makeshift memorial appeared at the building in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
The display that the Mallinger Family is viewing at the site contains a small portion of the thousands of mementos left at site by people of diverse faiths and backgrounds who wanted to honor the Eleven.
A group of Yeshiva students gathered at the site, as well as a Viet Nam vet whose friend was one of the SWAT team members who helped secure the building while the shooter was still inside, brought a bouquet of flowers and a message, "Your Christian brothers and sisters are with you."
|Community members brought flowers and messages of love.
Wasi Mohammed, who was there with the Jewish community the day of the attack and helped organize a campaign among Muslims to pay for the funerals and provide any support needed to the families, greeted the Mallinger and Wedner families at the synagogue.
Ron and Andrea Wedner with Wasi Mohammed and Lauren and Alan Mallinger.
We join the community and the country in remebering the 11 people who were lost on October 27, 2018: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil and David Rosenthal, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.