After Christchurch shooting, Jewish communities share in trauma and healing

Religion News Service | 3/18/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — After a gunman killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in October — the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history — Muslim communities around the country rushed to host vigils and show their support for the beleaguered congregation, raising more than $1.4 million dollars for survivors through their own organizations and crowdfunding campaigns.

In Pittsburgh, local Muslims promised to stand guard outside synagogues and walk alongside Jews who felt unsafe, as necessary, and attended mourning services with their neighbors.

Communities - Muslims - New - Zealand - Shooting

Now, Jewish communities are reciprocating as Muslims reel from New Zealand’s deadliest shooting ever, which left 50 Muslim congregants dead at two mosques in Christchurch last week. Even as the U.S. remains mired in debates about allegations of anti-Semitism among Muslim leaders in Congress and in the Women’s March, Jewish leaders have raised funds, led vigils and shown their support for Muslim communities.

“Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s board, which has set up a relief fund to solicit donations for the New Zealand Attack Emergency Relief Fund. “We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate.”

Tree - Life - Congregation - Campaign - Christchurch

The Tree of Life congregation has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the Christchurch victims, so far raising more than $11,000.

“(W)e feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around the world of many faiths,” the fundraising page states. “We recall with love the immediate, overwhelming support Tree of Life received from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh.”

Essay - Washington - Post - Weekend - March

In an essay in the Washington Post over the weekend, (March 15), one member of the Tree of Life congregation recalled how...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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