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Tree of Life Synagogue Unveils Preliminary Design of New Memorial Honoring Victims of 2018 Shooting

A man pauses at a memorial for the 11 victims shot by a neo-Nazi at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. Photo: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Organizers have unveiled the first design for a new outdoor memorial at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that will pay tribute to the 11 people killed in the antisemitic mass shooting at the Jewish center in 2018.

The “10/27 Memorial” is being designed in collaboration with a group of the victims’ family members, communal leaders, and congregational representatives. The design includes a walkway leading visitors into a garden memorial with 11 sculpted forms of open books, each representing one of the victims killed in the attack. The books represent the “Book of Life.”

“To be inscribed in the Book of Life is to be inscribed in eternity, to be inscribed in memory,” architect Daniel Libeskind said of the memorial. “It’s not a cemetery. It has to be an affirmation of life.”

Libeskind developed the preliminary design for the memorial in partnership with the Memorialization Working Group. He also serves as the lead architect for rebuilding the Tree of Life synagogue following the attack.

“Creating a meaningful memorial is a highly emotional and personal process, while at the same time, it must communicate to a broader audience,” Libeskind explained. “For the 10/27 Memorial, we worked closely with the families and the congregations throughout the design process. It was through this collaboration that we created a memorial that celebrates those we lost and brings the families and the community together in healing.”

Eleven Jewish worshipers were murdered and six others were injured in the shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, during Shabbat morning services at the Tree of Life synagogue, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The massacre is considered the deadliest antisemitic attack in United States history, and the perpetrator, 46-year-old truck driver Robert Gregory Bowers, was arrested at the scene and charged with 63 federal crimes and 36 state charges. He was convicted and given the death penalty in August, but a date for his execution has not been scheduled.

“The journey to unveiling the preliminary memorial designs has been a long and emotional one, but I am grateful for a process that prioritized our hopes that our loved ones are remembered for how they lived, not solely for how they were murdered,” said Diane Rosenthal, a member of the Memorialization Working Group whose two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal, were killed in the attack.

The new Tree of Life synagogue — designed by Studio Libeskind in New York with Rothschild Doyno Collaborative of Pittsburgh — will include a congregation, education and research center, and the first museum in the US that will focus on the historical and modern manifestations of antisemitism in America. Construction on the building, which has been closed since the attack, is expected to begin next year.

“Everything we are doing at the Tree of Life is rooted in honoring the 11 lives that were taken on 10/27 and remembering what happened on this site,” said Michael Bernstein, chair of the Tree of Life Interim Governance Committee. “It was important to us to let the families of the victims take the lead in how we tell the stories of their loved ones. We are humbled by their trust in us to support their vision of a memorial that will truly be the heart and soul of the reimagined Tree of Life.”

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Treasure Trove: David Matlow explains how this stag became the symbol for the Israeli mail system

Isadore Schalit(1871-1953) was one of Theodor Herzl’s first assistants and a main organizer of the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897. He opened all of the Zionist Congresses through to the 23rd Congress in Jerusalem in 1951 by knocking a hammer on the chairman’s table. Schalit moved to Palestine in 1938 This is Schalit’s mailbox which […]

The post Treasure Trove: David Matlow explains how this stag became the symbol for the Israeli mail system appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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IDF Announces Major Eyal Shuminov Killed by Anti-Tank Missile in Gaza

Eyal Shuminov. Photo: IDF Spokesperson


i24 NewsDuring a raid on Gaza’s Zeytun neighborhood, Major Eyal Shuminov of the Givati Brigade was tragically killed by an anti-tank missile.

The incident occurred when IDF forces identified a Hamas terrorist on the roof of a building and subsequently eliminated him.

Major Shuminov, a company commander in the Shaked Battalion (424) of the Givati Brigade, hailed from Karmiel and was just 24 years old at the time of his death. The IDF announced that he fell in battle on the 24th of Adar HaSphad (February 24, 2024).

His death marks the loss of 238 IDF soldiers since the start of the ground invasion in Gaza.

Following his death, Major Shuminov was posthumously promoted from the rank of captain to the rank of major. The IDF has extended its condolences to Major Shuminov’s family and pledged to continue supporting them during this difficult time.

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Netanyahu: Cabinet Will Vote on Rafah Operation Next Week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed plans for a cabinet meeting next week to finalize the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) strategy for an operation in Rafah, including the evacuation of civilians from the area.

The decision comes amid ongoing negotiations with Hamas regarding the release of hostages held by the militant group.

In a statement posted on social media platform X on Saturday, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of reaching a new framework for the release of hostages and the completion of the elimination of Hamas battalions in Rafah. He underscored the necessity of a combination of military pressure and diplomatic negotiations to achieve these objectives.

“We are working to obtain another outline for the release of our hostages, as well as the completion of the elimination of the Hamas battalions in Rafah. That is why I sent a delegation to Paris, and tonight, we will discuss the next steps in the negotiations,” Netanyahu stated in his post.

אנו פועלים להשיג מתווה נוסף לשחרור חטופינו, וכן את השלמת חיסול גדודי החמאס ברפיח.

לכן שלחתי משלחת לפריז ונדון הערב בצעדים הבאים במו״מ,

ולכן בתחילת השבוע אכנס את הקבינט לאישור התוכניות המבצעיות לפעולה ברפיח, כולל פינוי האוכלוסייה האזרחית משם.

רק שילוב של לחץ צבאי ומשא ומתן תקיף…

— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) February 24, 2024

The prime minister’s announcement signals a significant escalation in Israel’s approach to the ongoing conflict, with plans for a potential military operation in Rafah gaining momentum.

Netanyahu concluded his statement by reaffirming the government’s determination to achieve its goals in the war, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive strategy that combines military action with diplomatic efforts.

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