The Tree of Life synagogue congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is raising money for the victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting victims in New Zealand.
Both communities were the targets of mass shootings in areas of worship.
The synagogue’s president said the money will go toward helping families as well as mosque repairs.
The congregation at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh — itself the target of an alleged mass shooter associated with white supremacists— is raising money to support the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand.
The attack in New Zealand, at two different mosques in Christchuch, left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. The alleged shooter also had reported ties to white supremacist movements.
On October 27, a shooter killed 11 people and injured seven others at the Tree of Life synagogue. Robert Bowers, 46, was charged has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could receive life in prison if he’s convicted on all counts.
Sam Schachner, the president of the Tree of Life synagogue, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it wanted to reach out to the Muslim community in their time of need.
“We’re unfortunately part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of, and we wanted to reach out to New Zealand in the same way everyone reached out to us,” Schachner said.
Read more:Here’s what we know about the victims of the mosque mass shootings in New Zealand that killed at least 50 people
The country of New Zealand has offered to pay for the funerals of the victims. The Tree of Life fundraiser, Schachner said, would go toward helping the surviving families and any repairs needed at the mosques.
“Although unfortunately all we want is to have our family and our friends back, at the end of the day these incidents benefit from people stepping forward to make sure there’s appropriate mental health and money for victims’ families to get, as people can lose a primary wage earner,” Schachner told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And we don’t know what type of damage is done to their house of worship, and we want to help with that.”
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