Three Ways to Remember Pittsburgh

Mourners at a Tree of Life vigil
Mourners take part in a vigil following the tragedy at the Tree of Life complex.

This Oct. 27 marks the first anniversary of the Shabbat mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life building — the most brutal anti- Semitic attack in U.S. history. To commemorate the yahrtzheits of the 11 victims whose lives were lost while attending synagogue that day, we offer three powerful ways to reflect, honor their memories and show our solidarity as one united Jewish community.

To learn more about each event and to register, visit

Honoring the Tree of Life: A Yahrtzeit Commemoration

On Oct. 27 from 7:30–9:00 p.m., our Jewish Federation-supported Board of Rabbis will host a commemoration event at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Entitled “Exploring Personal and Communal Response to Trauma,” it will feature members of the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community sharing remarks, memorial prayers and a presentation by psychiatrist and pastoral counselor Michelle Friedman about personal and communal responses one year after the horrific shooting. This event, cosponsored by the Jewish Federation and ADL Philadelphia, is free and open to the entire community, but advance registration is requested.

Pause With Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh community will gather on Oct. 27 at 5:00 p.m. for a public memorial service — and since we can’t all join them in person, the Jewish Federations of North America have arranged for the next best thing. All are invited to sign up for a reminder via text message to pause for a moment of quiet remembrance and Kaddish, followed by a link to virtually join Pittsburgh’s local service, as well as an opportunity to text a message of solidarity.


Last year, millions of people of all faiths nationwide rallied around the hashtag #ShowUpForShabbat, flocking to synagogues in an expression of unity and defiance. In Greater Philadelphia, many shuls were packed to capacity. For the one-year anniversary, let’s once again heed the call to #ShowUpForShabbat on Oct. 25-26, and raise our collective voice for a world free of anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry of every kind.

Take Action With Women’s Philanthropy at the High Holiday Food Sort

Every October, our Jewish Federation’s High Holiday Food Drive collects tens of thousands of pounds worth of canned proteins for people in need. This year, we’re expecting to reach our record-breaking goal of 50,000 pounds of food — enough to supplement client orders for five months.

But before the food can be delivered to our five Mitzvah Food Program pantries across Greater Philadelphia, someone needs to sort it. That’s where the Women’s Philanthropy Food Sort comes in.

For the last eight years, Women’s Philanthropy volunteers have devoted one autumn morning to gathering at the SHARE warehouse, where they toss expired or crushed food, separate out any non-kosher items and, finally, sort each item into categories.

For the participants, it’s a special opportunity to make a difference in their communities. “I love doing the Food Sort,” enthused longtime volunteer Amy Wittenstein, a lay leader on the Mitzvah Food Program’s advisory committee. “It’s fun and really hands-on. It’s the power of women coming together, for such a good cause.”

The High Holiday Food Sort is open to anyone, regardless of gender. For more information or to register for this year’s food sort — on Nov. 4 — visit


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