Connected by tragedy, the Jews of Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Congregation have vowed not let hate win. In three days, the synagogue has raised almost $40,000 on a GoFundMe page to donate to the victims of the massacre that occurred in New Zealand. Some 50 people were killed at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch last week. The Pittsburgh synagogue experienced its own attack at the hands of a white supremacist just five months prior, losing 11 people to the deadliest attack on a Jewish community within the US.
The Jewish community felt compelled to act, the Pittsburgh community said on its fundraising page."We recall with love the immediate, overwhelming support Tree of Life received from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh," the GoFundMe page reads. "To the families going through the most difficult moments in your lives: the Jewish community of Pittsburgh is with you. Our hearts are with you. We hold you in our prayers."Soon after the New Zealand attack, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life wrote in a column titled, "The piece I knew I would have to write." In it, he said, "it was a bit different for me in a number of ways, as it caused me to relive my personal horror of October 27, as well as meet my expectation that there would be a massacre in another house of worship."
"The question was never 'if,' only 'when,'" he continued. "How does one who lived through the horror respond?"
After the Tree of Life shooting, Muslims across the world united on a LaunchGood site and raised $238,624 for the synagogue's victims.
"The most comforting thing to me throughout the past nearly five months has been the outpouring of love and support from all good people throughout the world – all races, creeds, colors, sexual orientation and ages," Myers wrote in his column. "They have uplifted me through their heartfelt letters, prayers, and gifts. They continually remind me of all the good that is in the world."