On October 27, 2018 Robert Gregory Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in the close-knit, heavily Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh and began shooting. By the end 11 members of three different congregations were killed, and six others wounded. It was, and remains, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the US.
Now, two years later, 23 members of the community, some who survived the attack, have written a moving collection of essays exploring different facets of the attack and the aftermath. What comes across in all of the essays is just how close-knit a neighborhood Squirrel Hill is, and how the tragedy has strengthened those bonds.
The book is edited by Beth Kissileff (full disclose: she is a friend) and Eric Lidji. Kissileff is a novelist, journalist and author who is also the spouse of Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of New Light Congregation, who survived the attack by hiding himself and others. Lidji is the director of the Raub Jewish History Program at the Senator John Heinz History Center. He is in charge of the effort to preserve documentation of the attack.