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Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Seth Rosen: Mourning, recovering and rebuilding

"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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