It is so hard to wrap my mind about the horror of what happened in Pittsburgh. How fortunate I am to have been raised in time and place in which my life has not been affected by anti-Semitism – at least not in any kind of tangible way.
Unlike my parents and grandparents, I did not have to think about my Jewishness when I applied for jobs or when I decided what schools to attend – and I never thought twice about safety attending Jewish events and services. The horror of this act of terrorism is a reminder of the fragility of Jewish survival in the Diaspora.
It hurts to know that this kind of blind hatred is just below our society’s surface, so easily awakened and brought to action by the hateful moment we are living through. But living we are – we will outlive the monsters and the haters, because we are strong and we survive. And we will never forget the victims, may their memories always be a blessing.
If you would like to order a copy of this painting, I will be donating all proceeds to HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). The Tree of Life Synagogue was targeted because of the congregation's support for immigrants and refugees. HIAS is the organization that helped my parents and I come to the United States as Refugees from the Soviet Union in 1989. You can order your art here.
May their memories be a blessing:
Richard Gottfried, 65-years-old
Rose Mallinger, 97-years-old
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66-years-old
Cecil Rosenthal, 59-years-old
David Rosenthal, 54-years-old
Bernice Simon, 84-years-old
Sylvan Simon, 86-years-old
Daniel Stein, 71-years-old
Melvin Wax, 88-years-old
Irving Younger, 69-years-old