Pittsburgh congregations targeted in 2018 attack give $200,000 to Public Safety
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Pittsburgh congregations targeted in 2018 attack give $200,000 to Public Safety

Funds will go to equipment and vehicles to respond to active threats and mass casualties

Police respond to the site of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life building on  Oct. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Police respond to the site of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life building on Oct. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The three Squirrel Hill congregations attacked on Oct. 27, 2018 at the Tree of Life building have donated $200,000 to the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.

Pittsburgh City Council introduced a resolution on May 26 authorizing the acceptance of the donation.

“The three congregations, New Light, Dor Hadash and Tree of Life, through this donation, wish to express our extreme gratitude to the Pittsburgh Police and other first responders for their actions on that horrible day, Saturday, October 27, 2018,” said New Light Congregation co-president Stephen Cohen in a prepared statement. “It was only due to the immediate actions taken by the officers that the shooter was ultimately captured. They selflessly and without hesitation pursued the shooter into the building while seeking to protect the remaining congregants being held hostage.

“Some of the officers were injured,” Cohen continued. “Through this donation, we honor all the officers involved that day and the entire City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety for putting community first. We will forever be in their debt.”

The congregations’ boards intend the donation to be used for vehicles and equipment for active threat and mass casualty situations, “because two of the survivors of the deadly attack on Tree of Life are alive today due to the efforts of our Police and Tactical Medics,” said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich in a statement.

“Pittsburgh Public Safety is incredibly grateful for this generous grant,” Hissrich added. “Even during this very uncertain time, the Board of Trustees of the Tree of Life, New Light, and Dor Hadash congregations, along with the Independent Committee, deemed our City’s first responders worthy recipients of the money,” which came from donations to the three congregations.

The funds, Hissrich said, “will go toward equipping first responders with the resources they need to protect Pittsburgh.” PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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