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What we know about the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

As many as eight people are dead, and three police officers have been shot, at a mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.

Here is what we know about that synagogue:

  • The Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill hosts three different Jewish congregations.
  • The Tree of Life congregation's roots trace back more than 150 years, when a group of congregants left Rodef Shalom, Pittsburgh's oldest congregation, to form their own. The congregation merged with the Or L'Simcha congregation in 2010 to form the Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha congregation.

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  • The building at the corner of Shady and Wilkins avenues was built in 1946 by the Tree of Life congregation. The congregation's former building on Craft Avenue is now the Rauh Theatre, utilized by the Pittsburgh Playhouse as a performing arts theater.

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  • Another congregation that uses the building is the Dor Hadash, a segment of the Reconstructionist Jewish belief, the most progressive and newest of the belief systems. Dor Hadash was founded in 1963.
  • The third congregation is New Light Congregation, which traces its roots back to Romanian Jewish immigrants who chartered in 1899. New Light, a conservative congregation, moved into the building in 2017.
  • Tree of Life is a conservative Jewish congregation. Conservative Judaism is a version of the faith that straddles progressive and conservative elements – more traditional than Reform Judaism and more progressive than Orthodox Judaism.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victims and those affected by the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. CLICK HERE to donate.

  • The head rabbi of Tree of Life is Hazzan Jeffrey Myers, who has led the congregation since August 2017.
  • Dor Hadash was scheduled to hold a Torah study service Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Tree of Life and New Light congregations were scheduled to hold Shabbat services at 9:45 a.m.