We were honored that Rabbi Menachem Creditor, founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence and one of the most influential rabbis in America visited us this weekend. Rabbi Creditor was hosted by Temple Emanuel and led services and a powerful discussion of gun violence prevention. We later shared shared Havdallah and dinner with Rabbi Creditor and Rabbis Emily and Aaron Meyer, and discussed new strategies to save lives amidst the ongoing gun violence epidemic.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor is Scholar in Residence for UJA-Federation of NY. He has been involved in leadership of the American Jewish World Service, AIPAC and the One American Movement, an organization dedicated to bringing together Americans of different faiths and opinions. He is also the author of Olam Chesed Yibaneh, a song which has had deep resonance for many in the Jewish community in the 16 months since the October 27 shooting.

On Friday, February 14, two years after the gun massacre in Parkland Florida, Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, in cooperation with CeaseFirePA, Progress PA, Bend the Arc Pittsburgh and numerous community partners (see below) hosted three actions to TELL TURZAI - STOP GUN SUICIDES.

Early in the week we mailed letters and posters telling Speaker Turzai that he needs to get the state house judiciary committee to move good gun bills which have been sitting there for a year. Bills to establish universal background checks (HB673) and extreme risk protection orders (ERPOS, formerly known as red flag laws, HB1075) have been gathering dust in Judiciary Chair Rob Kauffman's committee.

On Friday, constituents and local gun safety supporters rallied at Representative Turzai's McCandless office, while Pennsylvanians across the state called in to his McCandless and Harrisburg offices with the same message. After remarks by Dana Kellerman of SHS, Rob Conroy of CeaseFirePA and Carolyn Gibbs of Progress PA, we delivered our message to Rep. Turzai's staffers. Folks told of how these bills could have made a difference in their own lives and how Speaker Turzai has the opportunity to do the right thing, leave a meaningful legacy and most importantly, to save lives.

National, community and faith organizations that supported our effort and participated in the mail in action and call in day include Temple Sinai Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice, Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Systemic Change Team of the Unitarian Universalists of the North Hills, Sixth Presbyterian Church, Casa San Jose, Council on American Islamic Relations - Pittsburgh (CAIR), Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), Center of Life, Hazelwood Pittsburgh, Students Demand Action - Taylor Alderdice, Global Switchboard, Amnesty International Group 39, Voices Against Violence, Black Women for Positive Change, Brady United, and the Orange Wave for Gun Safety. Thank you all!

Squirrel Hill Stands joined Women's March Pittsburgh and other gun violence prevention groups CeaseFirePA and Moms Demand Action yesterday in downtown Pittsburgh. We braved the cold and pouring down rain to demonstrate our support for sane gun policy. SHS Policy Director Dana Kellerman spoke to the crowd about the extent of gun carnage, how communities, especially communities of color, are impacted and how we can address the problem by making sure to familiarize ourselves with candidates' gun stances and VOTE as well as bring everyone we meet to the polls with us.

See coverage of the march here and here

Read Dr. Kellerman's comments here.


© 2019 Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence

Pittsburgh, PA