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Poignant new anthology marks second anniversary of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

10 13 18

On the morning of October 27, 2018, an anti-Semitic white supremacist armed with a semi-automatic weapon entered the Tree of Life synagogue in the Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood during Shabbat services. He killed 11 Jews (members of the three congregations housed in the building) and injured six people, including four police officers.

The tragic event — the deadliest attack in history on the American Jewish community — left a profound mark on people all over the US and around the world. The deep shock and sorrow felt by the local Pittsburgh community is still being processed.

A new anthology of essays titled, “Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy,” allows local writers to engage with their sorrow, and to share their personal perspectives on how the shooting affected them, their families, friends and neighbors. It will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press on October 27, the second anniversary of the shooting.

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The anthology’s editors are Eric Lidji and Beth Kissileff, whose husband Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, spiritual leader of New Light Congregation, survived the attack by hiding and escaping. ‘Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy’ edited by Beth Kissileff and Eric Lidji (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Individual Pittsburghers had published pieces on the tragedy, and national and international media had covered the story as outsiders looking in. However, Kissileff and Lidji believed there was a clear need for a collection of essays by members of the local community.

“We thought that if we had an anthology, everybody would be responsible for their little piece, but all together it would tell a larger story from an interior perspective. It’s not definitive by any means, but it is bigger than any one perspective. You get a story between the stories,” Lidji said.

Lidji, director of the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center, and Kissileff, a........

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