Response to Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Today our hearts are broken at the news coming from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As we write this email, it appears that multiple people were shot and at least 10 people have been killed. We hold the families of those affected in our hearts, and in due course, we will be certain to explore ways in which we can bring support and comfort to those who have been affected by this tragic and horrific attack.

While we have no reason to believe there is any particular local threat, we are monitoring the unfolding situation carefully and we are working closely with Wayland Police. We have arranged for there to be an Officer present during Religious School tomorrow morning. We have also reached out to and heard back from, Chief of Police Patrick Swanick, to set up a meeting to review the safety and security measures we already have in place at the synagogue and discuss best steps moving forward.

In the immediacy of today’s event it is hard to know what words to say or how to react. With the understanding that Kol Yisrael aravim zeh bazeh – that all Israel are responsible one for another, we feel the acute pain of this attack and our hearts are broken for the victims and the entire Tree of Life Synagogue community. We send prayers of healing to those who were injured and are suffering and for the victims we say Zichronam Livracha - may their memories be for a blessing.

Sunday at 9am, at the beginning of Religious School we will have an opportunity to come together in the Sanctuary to offer some songs and prayers, and to simply be together as a community. All members of the community are welcome to join us.

We will be reaching out again in the coming days. If you do want to contact us directly, please know that we as your Clergy and leaders of the synagogue are always available to speak.


Rabbi Danny Burkeman
Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis
Cantor Hollis Schachner
Alison Weikel – Director of Education
Lisa Botelho- Director, ELC
Susan Altman – Executive Director
Scott Cohen – President