Returning to Pittsburgh

Ep. 292: Marking the third anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting with an audio portrait of how the community came together in its aftermath

October 28, 2021

Three years after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting that killed 11 Jews, we return to Pittsburgh with a special episode based on Mark Oppenheimer’s reporting for his new book, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood.

You’ll hear from the local high schoolers who planned the Saturday night vigil that drew thousands of people, from the Pulitzer-winning editor of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette explaining how he conceived the paper’s famous Hebrew-language, front-page headline, and from the archivist responsible for cataloging the thousands of pieces of mail received by the synagogue from around the world. Listeners will learn about the evangelical Christian carpenter who drove nine hours to place handmade crosses, to which he affixed Stars of David, outside the synagogue, and the member of the Jewish burial society who was shot in the attack and who then helped prepare the bodies of fellow members for burial.

Listen to our 2018 episode, recorded from Pittsburgh in the hours following the shooting, here.

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The 15th annual Other Israel Film Festival is taking place Nov. 4-11 at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. This festival provides an in-depth look into Israeli and Palestinian societies, and this year features both in-person and virtual screenings. For more info and tickets, visit

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