New Heinz History Center Archive Of 2018 Tree Of Life Attack Addresses Global Antisemitism

Documents, artifacts and articles show the impact the horrific attack has had on the Jewish community, locally and globally.
Hands At Prayer


A new digital archive by the Heinz History Center’s Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives documents the 2018 mass shooting that targeted the Jewish community at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Since the horrific Oct. 27, 2018 attack that killed 11 worshipers, the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives has collected tens of thousands of documents, artifacts and newspaper articles that highlight the outpouring of support for the Jewish community — locally, nationally and globally — following the attack.

Its purpose is to document local efforts to heal, create cross-communal bonds and address global anti-semitism.

The website includes fliers and programs from vigils held in the days following the attack, a comprehensive archive of local news coverage and a curated selection of historic photographs and documents from Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. It is also the home of the “Meanings of October 27th” oral history project, which includes recordings with more than 100 people — both Jewish and non-Jewish — from across the region.

“Each object included in the October 27 Archive represents a single response to the Oct. 27 attack. By bringing all these objects together in one place, we honor the many incredible responses to that terrible day. As this website grows in the years to come, we hope it will help people heal, connect, inspire, educate and work together to improve the world,” said Eric Lidji, director of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives, in a Heinz History Center press release.

The October 27 Archive website was created in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh using funds awarded through the federal Antiterrorism Emergency Assistance Program. The website is believed to be the first archival project funded through AEAP, which is typically reserved for social services impacted by domestic terrorism events.

“Through understanding the resilience of our community and the stories of the many people who helped respond to the worst antisemitic attack in U.S. history, we hope to help people in Pittsburgh and around the world to heal. That’s why we are proud to have funded the work of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives to create the online October 27 Archive,” said Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation, in the release.

Founded in 1988, the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives — part of the Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center — collects, preserves and makes accessible the documentary history of Jews and Jewish communities of Western Pennsylvania.

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