Five Years Since Pittsburgh

October 27, 2023

Today marks five years since the Tree of Life shooting, in which a white supremacist killed 11 Jews in synagogue on Shabbat.

We’re commemorating the fifth anniversary of the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States — even as we continue to mourn October 7th, the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.

The grief and the pain of that alone is overwhelming. And it’s compounded by a dangerous and devastating normalization of antisemitism happening all around us that’s left the Jewish community feeling frightened and isolated:

Jews being harassed and attacked as far-left voices justify Hamas’ massacre as an act of resistance.

Right-wing politicians and pundits espousing antisemitic, white supremacist conspiracy theories – including the same Great Replacement that fueled the Pittsburgh attack and a broader cycle of deadly extremist violence targeting so many communities.

We must be clear-eyed about this moment, and just how tenuous it is. But we also must recognize that we are not powerless, that we are not alone in confronting this hate – and that we can channel our pain into action:

By rejecting the loudest voices who try to pit our communities against one another and tell us that this moment is zero-sum.

By demanding action – from all levels of government, civil society, and the private sector – to directly counter extremism and hate-fueled violence.

By recognizing the many voices of allyship who have stood with our community – and coming together in solidarity with all communities under threat, to build coalitions in pursuit of a safer, more inclusive democracy.

The road ahead will not be easy. But to truly honor those taken from us, we have no choice but to push forward in the fight against hate and extremism.

Joyce Fienberg z”l

Richard Gottfried z”l

Rose Mallinger z”l

Jerry Rabinowitz z”l

Cecil Rosenthal z”l

David Rosenthal z”l

Bernice Simon z”l

Sylvan Simon z”l

Daniel Stein z”l

Melvin Wax z”l

Irving Younger z”l

May their memories all be for a blessing,


Amy Spitalnick