Finding a way forward after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh

A collection of remembrances that bind the living and the dead

On October 27, 2018, a gunman came into the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the center of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community for generations, and took the lives of 11 people from Tree of Life–Or L’Simcha, Dor Hadash, and New Light congregations during sabbath services. The kedoshim of Pittsburgh, the martyrs of that day, are Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.

The loss of these beloved individuals and the effects of that day’s trauma cannot be adequately articulated. Bound in the Bond of Life acknowledges this and does not presume to do so. Instead it offers reflections from various contributors, each from a unique perspective and place in the community. Together, they attempt to remember the day and its victims, come to terms with their experiences, and find a way forward in hope.

David M. Shribman, former executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper, writes in the foreword: “We are living life after October 27, 2018, trying to recapture life before the Shabbat without shalom. Nothing is the same.” Bound in the Bond of Life, he writes, tells the story “of life before, and of life after, and the difficulty—the impossibility—of reconciling the two. It includes accounts of how we learned, how we processed, how we grieved, how we carried on.”