What we know about Tree of Life Synagogue

As many as 11 people are dead, and four police officers have been shot, at a mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.

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Here is what we know about that synagogue:

  • The Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill hosts at least two Jewish congregations.
  • The Tree of Life congregation's roots trace back more than 150 years, when a group of congregants left Rodef Shalom, Pittsburgh's oldest congregation, to form their own. The congregation merged with the Or L'Simcha congregation in 2010 to form the Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha congregation.
  • The building at the corner of Shady and Wilkins avenues was built in 1946 by the Tree of Life congregation.
  • The congregation's former building on Craft Avenue is now the Rauh Theatre, utilized by the Pittsburgh Playhouse as a performing arts theater.
  • The other congregation that uses the building is the Dor Hadash, a segment of the Reconstructionist Jewish belief, the most progressive and newest of the belief systems. Dor Hadash was founded in 1963.
  • Tree of Life is a conservative Jewish congregation. Conservative Judaism is a version of the faith that straddles progressive and conservative elements – more traditional than Reform Judaism and more progressive than Orthodox Judaism.
  • The head rabbi of Tree of Life is Hazzan Jeffrey Myers, who has led the congregation since August 2017.
  • Dor Hadash was scheduled to hold a Torah study service at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Tree of Life congregation was scheduled to hold Shabbat services at 9:45 a.m.