Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha thanked the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for donating its Pulitzer Prize award of $15,000 to the congregation’s rebuilding fun. “#Pittsburgh is truly home to some amazing neighbors!” wrote congregational representatives on Instagram.
The Post-Gazette announced its gift during a presentation last week to Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha. “Rabbi Myers, when the unthinkable happened at Tree of Life, it was our job to tell the story. And to tell the backstory. We did our duty. It was our honor to do it. Nothing about doing our duty makes us noble or exceptional. But the duty itself was and is noble. Now we share with you another duty: to remember. And to assure that Pittsburgh, the United States and all the world remembers we feel bound to you and your congregations — by memory and duty. And we offer you, in humility, our service — as scribes and witnesses. We wish Tree of Life to have this gift — the newspaper’s cash award for the Pulitzer Prize for spot news — as a sign of this bond and this service. We give it as a modest contribution toward the repair and rebuilding of the congregation’s physical plant,” said Keith Burris, the Post-Gazette’s executive editor in an email.
The Post-Gazette also announced it will sponsor a yearly gathering called the Dina Wallach Block Symposium. Named after “our publisher’s beloved grandmother, this yearly forum will be in honor of the victims of the Tree of Life shootings and devoted to an exploration of how free speech and free thought can be used to confront hate speech and violence and overcome both with decency and love,” said Burris.
The Post-Gazette received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. Judges called the paper’s reporting on the Tree of Life attack “immersive, compassionate coverage of the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that captured the anguish and resilience of a community thrust into grief.” pjc