Summer Lee Calls for Community to Come Together in Support of the Jewish Community While Testimony in the Trial Commences for the Deadliest Antisemitic Attack in History on Three Pittsburgh Jewish Congregations

May 30, 2023
Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Emilia.Rowland@Mail.house.gov 330.212.2065

Summer Lee Calls for Community to Come Together in Support of the Jewish Community While Testimony in the Trial Commences for the Deadliest Antisemitic Attack in History on Three Pittsburgh Jewish Congregations

(Pittsburgh, PA) – Today, Congresswoman Summer Lee (PA-12) released the following statement as opening statements and testimony in the trial of the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting begins:

“With opening testimony in the trial for the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history beginning today, it’s crucial for ALL people of Pittsburgh to come together and hold up our Jewish community grappling with immeasurable pain, reopened wounds, and trauma. Right now, our neighbors and loved ones– especially the three Pittsburgh Jewish congregations–need our love, solidarity, and support. 

Lee added, “When I toured the site of the attack in February and met with Foundation leadership and family members of those murdered, I was profoundly moved–both by the unimaginable pain of what I saw and the beautiful conversations I had with family members of those who had their lives senselessly taken. Together, we discussed what can be done to help heal from the trauma that remains and their vision for the renovated building as a center to educate against antisemitism and hate.

“Now is the time for all of us to support the victims’ families, uplift the resilience of the Jewish community, and work tirelessly to combat antisemitism and white supremacy in all its forms—not just with words but with action” Lee continued. “That’s why I’m fighting to secure nearly $3 million in federal funding to for the Tree of Life Foundation to educate against antisemitism and  $547,000 to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh’s healing partnership to respond to the ongoing trauma our loved ones and neighbors are grappling with during this trial”  

“Together, we can build a future where all individuals can live free from fear, violence, and prejudice standing in solidarity with our Jewish brothers & sisters while we continue our fight against hate.”

To aid in the renovation process, educate against antisemitism and help the community respond to and heal from the ongoing trauma with the start of the trial, Congresswoman Summer Lee is working to secure millions in community project funding (formerly known as earmarks):

  • Lee is working to deliver $3,451,258 for the Tree of Life Congregation to create a community gathering and education space to teach about antisemitism and identity within the renovated Tree of Life building, which The Tree of Life congregation met on Sunday to mark the beginning of the renovation process that will soon transform the site into a museum, memorial and center for education. The plans feature a design that aims to “balance the light with the darkness” and will strive to tell a story of hope and redemption, instead of massacre and sorrow. On Sunday, April 23rd, in the garden outside of the Tree of Life synagogue, congregation members and neighbors came together to say “until we see each other again” to the building that once served as a center of worship for so many in the Jewish community in Squirrel Hill and all of Pittsburgh. 
  • Lee is working to deliver $547,212 to 10.27 Healing Partnership at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh to respond to and address the ongoing trauma from the 2018 Synagogue Mass Shooting in the lead-up to and in the aftermath of the trial. The goal of this project is to deepen the effectiveness of community-based work initiated by the initial investment from the federal government after the attack, focused on victim support, healing, and increasing the capacity of community partners to navigate trauma and resiliency following this horrific mass casualty event and the ongoing threat of antisemitism, white supremacy, and gun violence 


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