What were some of the student/youth responses/reactions that you saw and/or experienced?
I’m thankful to have had my sorority sisters there for support. As a member of the Jewish sorority, this tragedy hit us harder than most other non-Jewish students. We got together afterward to talk and feel safe, and we went to the vigil in Squirrel Hill. Many people responded by starting fundraisers to benefit
During the incident, a lot of students and friends of mine were just asking our fellow Jewish friends if they were okay or if they needed to talk about the event or were safe. There was a student-led vigil shortly after the Tree of Life shooting as well as some demonstrations a few days/weeks afterward supporting the synagogue and
My roommate and I were taking a bus through Squirrel Hill to go grocery shopping when I got a panicked phone call from an old high school classmate who also went to Pitt. She’d seen me post that I was going grocery shopping in Squirrel Hill and we’d had no idea the shooting was happening the next few streets over as the bus passed through. She called to warn me even though we hadn’t spoken since high school.
Some of the students that I worked with as a
My cousin almost went to Tree of Life that day, having greatly enjoyed Shabbat services there on another weekend. So he, and his friends and our family, all had a major “close call” moment. Some of my peers were nearby and/or were mortally scared, but either struggled to elaborate or chose not to elaborate at all when we spoke about it. One of my Jewish peers had a brief fit of self-loathing for her Jewishness.
I saw a big rally after the shooting, people calling for gun restrictions and stricter background checks. People were really upset and we all wore shirts commemorating the event. There was a vigil held for the shooting later in the month.
A lot of students seemed to be shaken up by the “
Fear, anger, grief about the incident
But pride in the citizens’ reactions and heroism.
Our Hillel and Chabad had a joint vigil underneath the tent in Schenley Plaza to remember those
Many campus organizations and individuals banded together to raise money for the families affected and increase diversity and spread love on campus.
I saw the community come together despite differences. People were very supportive of each other and the mayor, whom I’d never met sounded like he wanted to enact real change. The
People were immediately reaching out to each other, making sure those they knew were okay. Clubs were organizing vigils and offering support.
Being with the band and handling the chaos, the day of the shooting, my 300 peers around me seemed upset once we started to hear the extremity of what happened. But, we had to keep marching on as a band. I don’t think most of us processed how we were feeling until after the game was all said and done and we were on a bus ride back to campus.
Student responses were incredible. So many people were showing an immense level of support for a place they hadn’t even heard of before the tragedy. There were fundraisers all over to help out the victims and the Tree of Life community.
Why did Pitt spend copious resources to offer support/counseling for students and release statements of mourning and solidarity in the aftermath of an off-campus tragedy, while they refused to even acknowledge Alina Sheykhet’s death, let alone offer support or advocate for justice? Because one situation gives them the opportunity to virtue signal, and the other is unsavory to donors and prospective students. Fuck Pitt.
The students who were from out of state or Eastern PA expressed sadness and grief as they had seemingly for any other horror story about mass shootings in the US. For those of us who were from Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs, this event shocked us – not here, not in our city.
A conversation I have had with many others is what the reaction would have been like if this horrible act of violence happened to a mosque instead of a synagogue in Pittsburgh. I think the media attention would have been very similar in reporting on the incident, as well as the outcry of support. However, I do not believe (for example) the Pittsburgh Penguins would have worn the symbol of the star and
Many people were scared now, especially anybody who was Jewish. seemed to be more people scared than sad.
My friend goes to Chatham and she knew some of the people in the synagogue. There was a lot of crying from her. For everyone else, it was sadness. Not much anger until a few days later. Just genuine sadness for people we’ve never met.
On Pitt’s campus vigils, gun violence awareness rallies, protests, and art exhibits were held to raise awareness, create a safe space for grieving, and offer support. The Schools Say Enough Art Exhibit was very impactful to me, mostly because it was held on Pitt’s campus and I had a hand in making
I saw more people wearing yarmulkes, being proud of their heritage, in a place that had just shown its hate. In a place where they were vulnerable, they sought to show their strength and bravery. We all hope there is no other act, but they were brave enough to be proud.
A lot of people didn’t realize how it affected the Jewish community at large. I have friends in Texas who felt affected and they don’t even live in Pittsburgh. Some of my classmates had parties that night and pretended to care the next week and moved on quickly after. I watched the news
Almost everyone was in shock,
I remember receiving
Everyone worked really hard to make sure everyone was safe and comfortable, whether they were impacted or not. Seeing #cityofsteel and things of that nature truly made such a difference in making sure those impacted knew that the people of Pittsburgh, and especially Pitt students,
I know that both Hillel and Chabad on Pitt’s campus made a lot of effort to bring students and faculty together at this difficult time. I attended a service the day after the shooting, as well as a large Shabbat dinner (that Chabad hosted) and a school-wide vigil that included speeches by students/faculty and song performances.
SAEPi led a presentation on antisemitism a few weeks after the shooting which was geared towards non-Jewish students learning what antisemitism looks like and how to be better allies. Several non-Jewish organizations, like Muslim student association, lent support to Jewish students.
Extreme shock, sadness, and community togetherness in times of crisis.
Many students took time to mourn. Many of my friends are Jewish, and a few of those friends grew up in Squirrel Hill; they isolated themselves from social media and sought comfort in others who could understand what they were going through. It becomes exhausting to explain over and over that you live, or are from, the place that a national tragedy occurred.
I noticed a lot of fundraisers for victims and their families.
Various vigils, workshops, talks, and marches occurred as a result of the event.
As an art student, a lot of us found it difficult to try and navigate around this event. Could we make work about it? How could we make work about it? Was it our place to speak about what happened? Could we continue to make and share our normal work so soon after? Some did make work about it. I had to ask for an extension on a project. I made a short video about the
The Pitt Hillel and Chabad had a combined Shabbat service following the event that was very heartwarming. Pitt also had a vigil for all of its students and staff and had many student and staff speakers. The City of Pittsburgh had a vigil on campus which was huge, and religious leaders from all over the city came to speak and give their support to the Jewish community. Also, many clubs on campus had fundraisers for donations to the Tree of Life.
We had a small vigil put together by a senior who was Jewish. However, it was last minute and was not sponsored or a part of the Univers
I think most people felt the same as me. They were just in complete shock that something like this happened not just in
Students sold buttons and t-shirts to raise money for the temple.
I went to Race & Justice Pittsburgh hosted by the Atlantic in June, and one of the students from Taylor Allderdice was a speaker for one of the panels. At such a young age,
I experienced an outpouring of support. All of my friends on campus–and many of my friends across the country–reached out to me to give me their support and love.
I belong to St. Paul’s in Oakland and we collected donations for the Tree of Life Synagogue/ those affected. It was really touching, but additionally, St, Paul had a very protected and armed police offer at every Mass (at least the 10ams that I went to) which wasn’t reassuring and made me tenser during the service.
Confusion, disillusionment, and pondering that such a tragedy could occur so close to a university.
There were more anti-gun sentiments as a result of this event rather than people speaking out against antisemitism. There was one event that I attended that I felt was solely meant to bring people together and not to push an anti-gun sentiment. There was a vigil at the University of Pittsburgh, and there was no mention of politics which I liked.
Student organizations selling wrist bands, my school had a ceremony in which all classes were dismissed to attend the memorial, t-shirt sales in which all proceeds go to the families affected and Jewish organizations. I drove past the outside of the synagogue about a week after the tragedy and the flowers and memorials and posters all show that there is so much more love out there than hate.
I saw a lot of disappointment from the Jewish students with the reaction of the school. I think that the unity rally was unfulfilling and the T-shirts were inopportune. I saw a lot of students go into mourning or become uncertain of how or if they should be in mourning. A lot of people just did not know how to react without stepping on anyone else’s toes.
I saw many posts on social media, both from Jewish students and non-Jewish students. I also saw memorial services from the city which were amazing to see, as it was a symbol of the community coming together.
The Jewish community of students
Lots of on-campus events. My sorority sold sweatshirts/shirts within to alum and all proceeds went to the victims’ families. PITT gave out Stronger than Hate shirts. Hillel gave proceeds from their challah for hunger sale to victims families. They also had a Shabbat dinner with therapy dogs.
We are all angered and wondering when enough will be enough.
Many vigils, public displays of the “Pittsburgh Strong” or “All People are welcome here” signs/murals, seeking therapeutic discussion, prompting group discussions, marches when Trump came in town, students in the Jewish community planning service trips together
A lot of tears. People who lost someone close to them or