After what felt like the longest Tuesday in recorded history, we now know that we have elected the STRONGEST GUN SAFETY CANDIDATE EVER to the White House. Joe Biden has been a gun safety advocate for decades, led President Obama's task force after the Sandy Hook massacre, and ran on a strong gun safety platform. We welcome an ally in the White House. Unfortunately, we still face the potential for an obstructionist Senate. We do however have one more opportunity. Both Georgia Senate races go to runoff elections on January 5, 2021. That is one last chance to gain a gun safety majority in both houses of Congress. We intend to help and are waiting to hear back from allies on the ground in Georgia about how we can most effectively do so. Please stay tuned and check our 'take action' tab regularly.

While the news for the White House is fantastic, gun safety advocates lost ground in the Pennsylvania legislature. While we have an ally in Governor Wolf, gun safety opponents hold both the State House and State Senate. We are currently consulting with other gun safety advocates and planning a course forward.

"Though the shooter caused mayhem, grief and lasting trauma to all three congregational communities and beyond, he did not succeed in quashing the life-affirming commitments of the members of Dor Hadash. They have stayed true to their values and their political commitments at every step. Immediately after the shooting, members gathered to mourn and pray and find ways to support each other, and they opened themselves to support from around the world and from across the Reconstructionist movement.

In the months following the massacre, members of the Dor Hadash Social Action Committee established Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence to join with Jews and non-Jews, residents of Pittsburgh and Americans from around the country to advocate for sensible legislation that can reduce gun violence. As Dan Leger has regained his strength, he has made lobbying for effective gun legislation a major focus of his time. Honoring the memory of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, a profound healer who staunchly opposed the death penalty, in August 2019 the congregation wrote to U.S. Attorney General William Barr urging a plea bargain that would result in a sentence of life without parole for the perpetrator. And the Dor Hadash community has reaffirmed its focus on recognizing the humanity in all people through ongoing tikkun olam (social justice) efforts toward welcoming and compassionate immigration policies."

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Yesterday we hosted In Memoriam 2020, a virtual event remembering and honoring the 11 victims of the October 27, 2018 synagogue shooting, confronting anti-Semitism, white supremacy, anti-immigrant hatred, and the easy availability of guns, and calling for action. Over 300 people registered and despite some technical glitches, the video has been viewed almost 1200 times, as well as shared. If you didn't get a chance to participate yesterday, please watch and share the event. We have also posted a 'clean' copy, without the glitches.

We are grateful to everyone on our faith and community partners - see them here.

Read coverage in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette here


Following In Memoriam 2020, we partnered with Bend the Arc Jewish Action: Pittsburgh and One PA for a voter engagement phone bank and with the Emily Skopov and Lissa Geiger Shulman campaigns for two candidate phone banks. All told, volunteers made over 13,000 phone calls and spoke to over 1400 voters. AMAZING! This is the work that elects gun safety candidates.

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