Pittsburgh flowers

One of several shrines near the cordoned off area surrounding Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. | CJN Photo  / Jane Kaufman

The Jewish Federations of North America is calling on the global community to pause for a moment on Oct. 27, the first anniversary of the shootings at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh in memory of the 11 people who were shot and killed as they worshiped there. 

At 5 p.m. Oct. 27, the Pittsburgh community will join in a public memorial service for a moment of remembrance.

Those who wish to participate can sign up to receive a text message at 5 p.m. EST that will contain a video reading of a mourning prayer and the names of the 11 lives lost.

Following the prayer, those who wish may tune in to a livestream of Pittsburgh’s public memorial service and submit messages of support and solidarity by text. The website is pausewithpittsburgh.com.

“Rather than become desensitized to the terror of a never-ending cycle of senseless deaths, we must focus on doing what we do best: building and sustaining community that brings people together,” Mark Wilf, chair of the board of trustees of JFNA, said in a news release.

“Nothing can erase what happened one year ago – but we can choose to stand even stronger and strive even further to demonstrate our resilience and strength as a people,” Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of JFNA and former Central Ohio resident, stated in the release.

“Through the darkness of this tragedy we have seen a wave of solidarity, and we are gratified that it has sparked a movement of renewed unity.”

Joel Marcovitch, CEO of JewishColumbus, said he will join community members and tune into the livestream “to take time out of our day to pause and remember the largest anti-Semitic act of violence in modern Jewish American history.”

“Pittsburgh is a strong Jewish community,” he said. “And we, as Jews, have a duty to remember those lives that were lost – and also focus on what we’re going to do to make sure a Tree of Life (tragedy) doesn’t happen in our own community.”

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