How to support Pittsburgh's Jewish community this Giving Tuesday five years after the Tree of Life attack | Social Justice | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

How to support Pittsburgh's Jewish community this Giving Tuesday five years after the Tree of Life attack

click to enlarge How to support Pittsburgh's Jewish community this Giving Tuesday five years after the Tree of Life attack (2)
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
A memorial for the victims killed by gun violence at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018

For many people both in and around Pittsburgh, the impacts of the Oct. 27, 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life building have been top of mind throughout this year, between the ongoing development of the new plans for the Tree of Life site, the months-long federal trial culminating in a death sentence for the shooter, and the fifth anniversary of the attack itself.

In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that took the lives of 11 members of the Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha, Dor Hadash and New Light congregations, the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh raised over $6 million to support the victims’ and survivors’ families. That money was swiftly distributed. Although the fund is now closed, for those looking for a charitable way to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life building, there are still lots of worthy recipients.

Of course, individuals may make contributions to either or all of the three synagogues whose members were killed in the attack.

Dor Hadash is Pittsburgh’s only member-led Reconstructionist congregation. They support a religious school as well as a variety of religious and community programming. dorhadash.net/donations

New Light Congregation is raising funds to build a memorial chapel for the three members of their congregation killed on Oct. 27, 2018.
newlightcongregation.org/donations

Tree of Life is accepting donations to fund many aspects of synagogue programming as well as a 10/27 music commission, and their Remember. Rebuild. Renew Campaign. treeoflifepgh.org/payment

How to support Pittsburgh's Jewish community this Giving Tuesday five years after the Tree of Life attack (3)
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
There are also dozens of other organizations in the Jewish community providing important services throughout the region. Below is a list of a few of them.

The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh

In addition to stewarding the stories of local Holocaust survivors, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh takes an active role in countering antisemitism throughout the region by hosting public educational and cultural events, offering free and affordable resources for teachers, and connecting school districts with support implementing anti-genocide curricula. You can donate at their website, hcofpgh.org/hcdonate.

10/27 Healing Partnership

The 10/27 Healing Partnership, located on the top floor of the Jewish Community Center, offers wellness support in a welcoming space to those working to heal from the attack. Their programming includes forest bathing, trauma-informed yoga, and drop-in individual counseling. Donate through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh: jfedpgh.org/healing

Rauh Jewish Archives

The Rauh Jewish Archives, located in the Heinz History Center, provides crucial services preserving the Jewish history of western PA, and is also home to a wide variety of documents and artifacts commemorating the shooting at the Tree of Life building, including flyers and programs from memorial events and vigils, records of media coverage, thousands of letters of support sent from all over the Globe, and a unique collection of oral history interviews from survivors of the attack as well as other members of the Pittsburgh community. You can donate to the Rauh Archives through the Heinz History Center’s online portal by designating the Rauh Archives as the recipient of your gift. heinzhistorycenter.org/give/make-a-donation

Community Care and Resistance in Pittsburgh (CCRIP)

Community Care and Resistance in Pittsburgh is a Jewish- and Muslim-led volunteer group that provides direct aid to people in the Pittsburgh area experiencing homelessness and those returning from incarceration in the Allegheny County Jail. Fiscally-sponsored by 1Hood, CCRIP visits local shelters and encampments of people living outside to distribute clothes, food, hygiene supplies, tents, Narcan, and other survival supplies. They also table outside ACJ to provide aftercare for individuals getting out of jail, making sure they have some money and a ride home. 100% of donations go to supplies. CCRIP accepts donations via Venmo at @ccrip and through Cashapp at $ccrip1312.

Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh offers interest-free loans of up to $10,000 to residents of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Butler, or Beaver counties who have financial need and a source of income. They serve individuals regardless of race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender. They also connect people with free financial coaching. HFL started in 1886 when a group of men from a Hill District synagogue lent money leftover from synagogue fundraising to a single mother in need. When loans are repaid, that money is then loaned out again. Donate on their website: hflapgh.org/donate-to-hfla-pittsburgh

Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty
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Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty

By Mars Johnson