Tulane Hillel hosts Tree of Life vigil for victims of synagogue shooting

Students gathered on the Berger Family Lawn on Monday to remember the 11 lives lost during the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last Saturday.

Each student in attendance was encouraged to hold a candle for the duration of the vigil and to sign a poster board with condolences that would be sent back to the Squirrel Hill community.

Courtesy of Paula Burch-Celentano

The program opened with the reading of a Jewish prayer for mourning, followed by “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Next, several residents of Squirrel Hill and members of the Tree of Life synagogue shared how this tragedy affected them and their community.

The group of students leading the program then read aloud the names and biographies of each of the victims killed on Saturday morning.

When sophomore Gabbi Meltzer, who helped organize the event along with sophomore Rachel Bogin, heard about the shooting, she knew some action needed to be taken to remember those who had perished.

She reached out to the leaders of Tulane Hillel, who were eager to help her and other students put on the event for the Tulane community.

Though Meltzer is originally from New Jersey, she still felt the impacts of this attack on a Jewish community similar to her own.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing that we go to Tulane and we’re not a minority here, but something important I think that comes out of this is our increased awareness that we aren’t a majority,” Meltzer said.

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