Pittsburgh Jewish group raising money for New Zealand’s Muslim community in wake of mosque shootings

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A Pittsburgh Jewish group is raising money for the Muslim community in New Zealand after a terror attack that targeted two mosques in Christchurch on Friday and left at least 49 people dead.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said in a statement on Friday that it will be accepting donations “to help the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand.”

“The Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community was shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific Islamophobic attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday resulting in the senseless murder of at least 49 people,” the group said in the statement. “We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch, in Pittsburgh, and around the world.” 

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” they continue. “… You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”

Pittsburgh Jewish Group

The effort comes months after at least 11 people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the shooting is believed to be the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

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At the time, Muslim groups came forward to raise money for the victims of the synagogue shooting.

“Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said.

“We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing,” she continued. 

Other Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh have also come forward after the terror attack on Friday in efforts to repay the acts of kindness received from the Muslim community last year.

Brian Schreiber, president of the Jewish Community Center, told a local CBS station on Friday that “our responsibility as the Islamic Community was here for us in our time of need is to be right back to be in their time of need to support.”

“It also means we need to be sharing with them at the Islamic Center our grief and our feeling of our support for them so they don’t feel alone in that journey,” he added.

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