The 10/27 Healing Partnership, an organization created to support the emotional needs of the Pittsburgh community in the wake of the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, said Thursday that it plans to operate for another five years even though its initial funding source will soon end.
Funded since 2019 by a federal Antiterrorism Emergency Assistance Program grant set to expire in September, the organization is working to move to a broader funding base, including private philanthropy and public grants.
The partnership said it was announcing its intentions now — a month before the trial of the alleged shooter is set to begin in federal court in Pittsburgh — to assure the community that its services will be available during and after what is expected to be a highly emotional proceeding.
“The next few months are likely to be particularly challenging and retraumatizing for our community,” said Maggie Feinstein, director of the 10/27 Healing Partnership. “People are apprehensive about the upcoming legal proceedings, and in October we will recognize the fifth commemoration of the 2018 attack. We want to be loud and clear: The 10.27 Healing Partnership is here for the community and plans to be here for the next five years.”
Eleven people among the three separate Jewish congregations were killed in the Oct. 27, 2018, attack on Tree of Life synagogue in what was the deadliest antisemitic incident in United States history.
The partnership was designed to provide support, connections and opportunities for reflection for those impacted by the attack and other victims of hate-related trauma. According to the partnership, it has held 716 individual counseling encounters, 883 counselor-led group therapy encounters, 212 community presentations, and reached nearly 10,000 individuals through its social media accounts and website in the past 18 months alone.
In addition to providing that support, the partnership has organized the commemoration ceremony on Oct. 27 of each year since the mass shooting.
The partnership has assisted a wide swath of the community, but it has also helped those closest to the attack. Carol Black, who survived the shooting but lost her brother, Richard Gottfried, said Oct. 27, 2018, was the worst day of her life, and healing seemed impossible to her at first.
“The 10/27 Healing Partnership supported me for years with counseling services, and they continue to honor my brother’s memory by holding a space for the commemoration,” said Black, who participated in the partnership’s strategic plan. “More recently, they have helped me find my voice as an advocate against antisemitism and hatred. Healing is an ongoing process, and I was happy to contribute to a plan that will ensure resources are always there to support those impacted by that day.”
Those killed in the attack were Gottfried, Joyce Fienberg, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal, married couple Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger. Two other worshippers and four Pittsburgh police officers were also injured.
The 10/27 Healing Partnership is housed in the Squirrel Hill branch of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Those interested in supporting the organization’s work should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew writes about education and more for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at email@example.com.