Jewish College Students at Dozens of Hillels on Campuses Across the Country Hold Vigils in Remembrance of Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Victims



October 29, 2018

WASHINGTON – In the wake of the horrific attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jewish college students from dozens of Hillels on campuses across the country are bringing their communities together to hold vigils and memorials to grieve and find comfort.

Eric D. Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International, traveled to Pittsburgh Sunday and spent time with students from the Hillel Jewish University Center, which serves Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

“The strength of the Pittsburgh community in the face of the attack on the Tree of Life Congregation was inspiring, as was the skill exhibited by the leadership of the Jewish and broader community. But even these positive notes cannot push back the sheer horror of the stories that I heard from those who were present at Tree of Life and from those who were in Squirrel Hill on Shabbat morning,” said Fingerhut. “I am so proud of the work of our Hillel professionals and student leaders who are coming together on their campuses to support one another, to mourn those we have lost and to reaffirm that we are stronger than hatred.”

Fingerhut continued: “We cannot forget and go back to our daily lives. We must stand with this community and support them always. And we must realize that Squirrel Hill and Tree of Life could have been any of our close-knit Jewish communities or any of our synagogues. This was an attack on all of us.”

Matthew Berger, vice president for communications at Hillel International added: “As we support our students and professionals in their incredible efforts to bring their communities together, safety is our highest priority. We regularly work with our law enforcement, university, and community partners to ensure the safety of all of our programs. We regularly review procedures with staff and partners and utilize all resources to protect our programs and facilities.”

More than 100 Hillels around the world are holding vigils to commemorate the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting. Some of them are:


About Hillel International

Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.