How to Support the Families of Squirrel Hill Victims
There are a number of ways you can support the families of the victims of the attack in Pittsburgh. Here are some ideas: Interfaith vigils, Letters of condolence, Flowers, and Counseling. These can all help. You can also consider volunteering at the scene of the attack. For more information, visit the Pittsburgh Jewish Federation’s website. For details on how to support the families of the victims, click here.
Pittsburgh police blocked off streets around the Tree of Life synagogue after a gunman opened fire at the historic synagogue on October 27. As thousands gathered to support the victims, members of different faiths held a candlelight vigil in solidarity. Chants of “vote!” echoed throughout the crowd. The vigil was organized by students at Taylor Allderdice High School.
On Sunday, hundreds of people came out to participate in an interfaith vigil in Pittsburgh for the victims of the horrific shooting. Some people gathered to sing hymns and share their feelings. A local state representative, Dan Frankel, who has represented Squirrel Hill for two decades, told WPXI that he was not surprised by the large turnout. “The town is very diverse and the community has come together in this time of tragedy.”
Letters of condolence
On Monday, November 19, Pittsburgh’s Jewish community held a candlelight vigil in front of the Tree of Life Congregation, just under two miles from the Cathedral of Learning. The shooting killed 11 members of the Jewish community, mostly elderly people. Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, the world, and Pitt students all felt the effects of the shooting. Many letters of condolence and sympathy focused on the victims and their families, as well as the Jewish community in the area.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” wrote Michael Hirt, a brother-in-law of the victims. A former dentist, Mr. Wax was well-known to the Pittsburgh community. He married his wife, Durachko, in 1980. Both were active in the synagogue. Their daughter, Sarah, was a longtime member of the congregation. Despite the tragedy, Pittsburghers have remained in solidarity, with some even voicing their support for a change in gun laws.
Residents of Squirrel Hill are displaying flowers to remember the victims of the shooting. The flowers were crafted by the Squirrel Hill Flower Shop. The victims of the massacre, including eleven children, were mourned with flowers on Wednesday morning. In addition, a T-shirt was created with proceeds going to the Tree of Life synagogue, which was also the target of the shooting. Several local businesses also organized fundraisers to provide flowers to the victims.
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting left eleven dead and six injured, including four police officers. Squirrel Hill businesses purchased and distributed more than 150 bouquets of flowers, offering them to strangers who needed them. The flowers also served as a symbol of hope, and the victims of the shooting were inspired to continue the good work. To support the police officers who were wounded in the attack, the Federal Order of Police set up an Injured Officers’ Fund, which is a safe place to donate.
Pittsburgh’s Jewish community has been mourning the Squirrel Hill massacre for three years. In the weeks following the shooting, the community was flooded with trauma tourists. While some welcomed the attention, others expressed anger over the lack of grief over Black victims. In the wake of the tragedy, the Jewish Community Center and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services have offered counseling and support services to the community. They have also hosted a memorial service in Pittsburgh.
Cecil and David Wax were friends. They were devoted members of the Squirrel Hill community, and they met while studying dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh. They shared a deep religious faith, and their friendship was contagious. They were members of the New Light Congregation, which rented space in the lower level of the Tree of Life Synagogue. They were devoted members of the congregation, filling every position, except the cantor.
Visits to synagogues
The response to the attack in Pittsburgh has been remarkable. A flood of tourists visited the scene of the tragedy. Some of them made crosses and toted therapy dogs for victims. But others have come solely to support the victims. These visitors are known as trauma tourists. Here’s how they’re helping the Jewish community recover after the tragedy. And these tourists are just as heartwarming to the victims.
National Jewish leaders have encouraged Americans of all faiths to attend Shabbat services in their own communities to offer their support for the families and friends of those killed on Saturday. A vigil was held in over two dozen cities, most of them organized by Jewish communities. The victims of the massacre ranged in age from 54 to 97. It was the first time in history that so many Jews came together to offer their support.
Resources for victims
While there is no official “resources for squirrel hill victims” website, the Wolf Administration is offering support for the community and the families of the victims. The shooting at Tree of Life has been a cause for grief for the community. The Tree of Life shooting center provides counseling, education, and community space for those who need it. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has lived in Squirrel Hill for 36 years, and Little’s Shoes owner Justin Sigal have joined the effort to assist the families.
The Squirrel Hill Flower Shop is an 80-year-old business run by Ronna Wedner Levin. She started the shop after her father passed away 40 years ago and has had calls from all over the country. Since then, she has held vigils for victims and the community. She worshiped at the Tree of Life Synagogue and is very familiar with the neighborhood. The vigil Sunday night has helped the community come together in solidarity and remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.