November 1, 2018

Pittsburgh Reflections During a Week of Shiva

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Earlier today, Hazzan Harold shared Helen Landau’s powerful essay reflecting on the massacre at Congregation Tree of Life in Pittsburgh this past Shabbat. You can find Helen’s words here.

I’d like to share as well, a pair of emotional and poignant posts written by my friend and colleague Rabbi Jonathan Berkun. Rabbi Berkun serves a community in South Florida; his father, Rabbi Alvin Berkun, is the rabbi emeritus at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh. You can find Rabbi Berkun’s words here and here.

An op-ed in Haaretz today captured my heart. Find Bradley Burston’s latest here.

And finally – courtesy of Jewish Learning Venture – a list of 11 things that we can do to honor the memories of the 11 victims of last Shabbat’s massacre. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a starting place.

  1. Prepare yourself to talk to the children in your life. Check out resources from PJ Library and Fred Rogers.
  2. Donate to Tree of Life Synagogue and families.
  3. Use this list of PJ Library and PJ Our Way books that can help you talk about this tragedy with children.
  4. Spread kindness.  Do a mitzvah. Check out jkidphilly.org for ideas.
  5. Seek out prayer and ritual to help you and those around you.
  6. Thank the first responders in your community–6 ways to honor first responders
  7. Donate to the Hevra Kadisha (burial society) of Pittsburgh.
  8. Join Jewish Venturefor one of our online events:Webinar for Congregational EducatorsWebinar for Early Childhood Educators, and Facebook Live event for jkidphilly parents.
  9. Participate in the national Show Up for Shabbat movement this weekend.
  10. Join together with your community for comfort, solidarity, and strength. Check out calendars on jewishlearningventure.organd jkidphilly.org for upcoming programs.
  11. Take care of yourself. We are all responsible to one another and can only take care of each other so long as we take care of ourselves. Take some time and seek out the resources you need in this time of tragedy.

Join us this Shabbat at 6 pm and Saturday morning at 9:45 am.

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