Tree of Life, executive director agree to part ways
TransitionsConservative synagogue to begin replacement search

Tree of Life, executive director agree to part ways

Barb Feige has served in position since July, 2019

Tree of Life building (Photograph by Jim Busis)
Tree of Life building (Photograph by Jim Busis)

Barb Feige will step down as the executive director of Tree of Life Congregation at the end of the year, according to an email sent to its members by the congregation’s president, Carol Sikov Gross.

Feige was hired in July 2019, eight months after the Oct. 27, 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life building, the deadliest antisemitic incident in the country’s history. Previous to her time with the congregation, Feige worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania for 16 years, serving as the deputy director and director of administration.

At the time she was hired by Tree of Life, Feige called her new role “a professional challenge and a personal honor.”

In her email, Sikov Gross said the announcement was made with “mixed feelings” and that the congregation thanked Feige for “her dedicated service to the Tree of Life community.”

Over the coming weeks, according to the email, the board of trustees, personnel committee and steering committee will work to solidify the “appropriate professional structure and talent needed to ensure the ongoing operations” of the congregation.

The transition comes at a critical time for Tree of Life. Last May, Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the lead architect to reimagine the site of the congregation’s building. The renovation is part of Tree of Life’s REMEMBER. REBUILD. RENEW. campaign to commemorate the events of Oct. 27. The reimagined space, on the corner of Wilkins and Shady avenues, will include areas for worship, reflection and classrooms, as well as exhibitions and public programs of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

The congregation has not revealed how the project will be funded or what its fundraising goals are for the renovation.

A spokesperson for Tree of Life did not respond to interview requests as of the time of publication. PJC

—David Rullo

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