Volunteers from Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, New Light Congregation and Congregation Dor Hadash, the three synagogues targeted in the Oct. 27 anti-Semitic attack that claimed 11 lives in Pittsburgh, began deconstructing the makeshift memorials outside the building last week, 18 days after the tragedy.
In the days and weeks following the attack, flowers, cards, stones and signs were placed in several spots near the property in memory of the congregants murdered inside.
On Nov. 14, volunteers were joined by experts in memorialization and archival preservation.
Eric Lidji of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives, and Laurie Eisenberg and Jay Aronson (both of Carnegie Mellon University) helped separate stones, gather flowers and relocate items indoors for preservation and future reconstruction.
Initially, the materials will be erected and placed “inside the glass doors in the Tree of Life’s main sanctuary lobby, which was unaffected by the tragic events,” thus allowing public viewing without fear of vandalism or destruction due to inclement weather, according to the congregations.
Ultimately, the objects will be collected, cataloged and preserved in the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Once completion at the Rauh, the items will be made available to researchers, historians and members of the public, according to the congregations. PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org