Volunteers clean cemetery in Carrick to honor those who died in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting

PITTSBURGH — Thursday, Oct. 27 marks four years since the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill where 11 people were killed. Volunteers gathered in Carrick Sunday to clean a cemetery and honor those who died.

Members of the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh and members of Repair the World Pittsburgh helped to organize the cleanup. People of all ages worked at the Beth Abraham Cemetery. The event was meant to be a “day of service” for all of the victims.

“This meaningful project is being fulfilled in memory of my parents Bernice and Sylvan Simon who were senselessly murdered along with 9 other loving individuals all while innocently praying in the tree of life building,” said Marc Simon, who lost both of his parents the day of the shooting.

An event organizer said Simon and his family are dedicated to keeping the memory of the victims alive.

“The Simons are so committed to the memory of all the victims and it’s a privilege to be a part of their effort,” said Barry Rudel, executive director of the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh.

Rudel said this is the second year the family has come forward to offer a day of service for Marc Simon’s parents and the rest of the victims.

“While nothing can bring them back to us we must never forget what occurred on that tragic morning and continue to honor their lives in both thought and service and to foster a constant reminder of the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history,” said Rudel.

Several other events will be held to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the shooting on Thursday. A ceremony will be held on Prospect Drive in Scnehnley Park among other in-person and online events.

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