Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh CEO, Jeff Finkelstein speaks at a news conference the day after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AARON JOSEFCZYK)
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev selected Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh president Jeffrey Finkelstein on Monday to light a torch at the annual Independence Day ceremony.
Finkelstein will represent the Pittsburgh Jewish community, which suffered the most bloody antisemitic attack to ever occur on US soil.
Eleven synagogue-goers were shot to death in Tree of Life congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27.
"I had the pleasure to notify Jeff Finkelstein that he was chosen to light a torch in the name of all the diaspora Jews on Independence Day," Regev said. "Jeff's support of the families of the victims after the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue and the families of those murdered in the attack on a mosque in New Zealand is an expression of the supreme principle of the spirit of the Jewish people, love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog welcomed the "wise choice by the government" to select Finkelstein, adding: "Israel and the Diaspora share a common destiny, in moments of joy and grief. The Pittsburgh Jewish Federation is a model for Jewish communities all over the world in its wealth of pluralistic Jewish life and love of Israel."
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading organization committed to bridging the gap between Israelis and US Jewry, congratulated Finkelstein for his representation of the diaspora Jews in lighting the Independence Day torch.
“Mazal Tov to Jeff Finkelstein, who will represent the resilience and spirit of the Pittsburgh Jewish community at Israel’s upcoming Independence Day celebrations," said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. "Jeff’s leadership in the aftermath of the horrible Tree of Life shooting can serve as an inspiration for other Jewish leaders. The recognition by the Israeli government is an important reminder of the unbreakable bond uniting Israel and the American Jewish community.”
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