Today’s Sabbath morning shooting at the Tree of Life Conservative Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA is akin to a family bereavement for members of the Kehilat Hakerem Masorti Congregation in Karmiel, northern Israel.
Not only have the two cities enjoyed a municipal twinning arrangement since 2006, the Karmiel congregation is due this week to host members of Congregation Beth Shalom, a sister Pittsburgh Conservative community to Tree of Life, during their current visit to Israel. Guests will include Avi Ben-Hur, Director of Education and Scholar in Residence at Classrooms without Borders along with Rabbi Seth Adelson, Senior Rabbi at Beth Shalom Congregation.
The photograph above shows local participants in a Karmiel-Pittsburgh Partnership 2Gether programme.
Among reactions from US expatriates living in Israel is this from a woman based in Jaffa. I have edited her remarks slightly to preserve her anonymity:
“… my stomach .. is in knots, my skin is tingling, I feel agitated and yes, I'm quite freaked out. ...Those that know me well, know that I am the farthest thing from an alarmist but.- the horrific shooting in the Etz Hayim Synagogue in Pittsburgh is in my relatives’ leafy, hilly, lovely neighorhood of Squirrel Hill. They live a few short blocks from there. Just last night they attended services at the other Conservative synagogue in the neighborhood. Such a senseless act of pure hatred by a mad man. I am flooded with emotion -
Thank you with all my heart to the many friends and family who have contacted us to check on my loved ones’welfare”.
© Natalie Wood (27 October 2018)