Summer Lee Statement Following the Verdict in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Trial

Jun 16, 2023
Press

Summer Lee Statement Following the Verdict in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Trial

(Pittsburgh, PA – June 16, 2023) – Summer Lee released the following statement after a verdict was reached in the trial for the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting that killed 11 Congregants of Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation and Tree of Life Congregation in the worst anti-semitic attack in American history on October 27, 2018:

“Today’s conviction is a step towards justice for the 11 Jewish worshippers killed by a white supremacist gunman in 2018. 

“May the memories of those taken from us be forever a blessing. And May the strength and resilience shown by the survivors, the victims’ family members, and the entire Jewish community throughout this heartbreaking trial forever be an inspiration to us all.

“They inspire me to work even harder to confront the root causes of hatred, racism, and bigotry so that no community has to live in fear of such senseless violence ever again.”

The shooter was convicted on all 63 charges, including 11 counts of hate crimes.

In February, Lee toured the site of the massacre and met with Foundation leadership and family members of those killed in the attack. Lee was profoundly moved by what she saw and the beautiful conversations she had with family members of those that were murdered about 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. 

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 as part of the FY2024 Appropriations Package (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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