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Following Mosque Attacks, Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community Offers Support to N.Z.’s Muslims

In the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attack at two mosques in New Zealand, the Jewish community in Pittsburgh – five months after suffering a xenophobic terror attack of its own – is raising money to support the Muslim communities affected by the massacre.

Jewish organizations in the Pennsylvania city, including the Tree of Life synagogue where eleven people were killed last October, are fundraising to help the families of the 50 victims murdered in the horrific attack, The Jewish Chronicle reported Monday.

In the wake of the synagogue shooting, a crowdfunding campaign called “Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue” raised more than $200,000 in four days for those affected by the terrorist attack. Responding in kind, the Tree of Life congregation launched a GoFundMe campaign in support of Muslim communities in Christchurch.

“We feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around the world of many faiths,” the website says. “We recall with love the immediate, overwhelming support Tree of Life received from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh.”

The terrorist attack in New Zealand was the first mass shooting at a house of worship since the Tree of Life congregation was targeted.

In a statement Friday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announced the formation of a New Zealand Islamophobic Attack Emergency Relief Fund.

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

Brian Schreiber, president of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Pittsburgh, recalled that the Islamic community was supportive of his city’s Jewish community in the aftermath of the October terror attack. He added, “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.”

According to the statement, those who wish to donate can give online at the Jewish Federation’s website or send checks to 2000 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

[Photo: MSNBC / YouTube ]