Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, that has been vacant since it was the site of the most deadly antisemitic attack in U.S. history, will be repurposed as a memorial, museum and education center to be called Tree of Life, NextPittsburgh reported.
In July 2021, Pennsylvania allocated $6.6 million in funding for the redevelopment of the synagogue where 11 Jews were murdered in an antisemitic attack in 2018. The building has not been used since the mass shooting.
The new building will also contain the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, which will merge into the institute that will be tasked with combating antisemitism.
"Our path forward imagines a future without antisemitism, because we know all too well the pain and devastation it causes. Antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem. It is everyone’s problem, and we are all bound to actively work toward its end. We did not ask for this responsibility, but we cannot ignore it,” Tree of Life synagogue’s Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said in a statement.
The Tree of Life institute will remain separate from the Tree of Life synagogue which will use the building for services.
The new building is being designed by noted architect Daniel Libeskind. A timeline for completion has not been released.
“My response to the attack on 10/27 is to create a space imbued with Jewish ideals. The design focuses on the key Jewish dimension of bringing light into darkness and creating an open and democratic space within,” Libeskind said in 2021.