In Partnership with Pittsburgh: A Message of Solidarity from Karmiel-Misgav in Northern Israel

Support and solidarity from across an ocean.
The community in Karmiel-Misgav mourns and heals together with Pittsburgh.

In the wake of the horrific massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, messages of support and love have flooded in from Jewish communities across the United States and around the world. For Pittsburgh’s partnership region of Karmiel-Misgav in northern Israel, the pain was especially deep.

At this sad juncture in time, the Jewish community of Pittsburgh has become the singular community of all 46 partnerships...You can cut off some branches—but the tree will continue to grow.

Remembering the victims. Photo Credit: Golan Melamed for The Jewish Agency for Israel

For the past 20 years, both cities have shared close personal and communal bonds through The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether (P2G). By welcoming a Jewish family of over 350,000 participants each year, the P2G program seeks to build living bridges in Israel and strengthen Jewish identity. Their efforts promote an understanding of the rich variety of religious expression around the world.

A memorial service at Karmiel Culture Hall drew hundreds of people, including many Israeli participants of programs shared with Pittsburgh. 35 of those in attendance were visitors from Pittsburgh serving missions in Israel when the attack occurred.

“The Jewish community in Pittsburgh has always stood by us,” the outgoing Mayor of Karmiel, Adi Eldar, said at the memorial. “I’m sorry that the last event that I’m taking part in as Mayor is this sad event.”

The Jewish Agency Chairman, Isaac Herzog as well as Debbie and Josh Resnik, co-chairs of the Partnership in Pittsburgh — were able to join in by video. Songs and addresses from thought leaders filled the air. Local volunteers gathered photographs taken throughout Israel with expressions of love and condolences that were presented at the service.

The support doesn’t stop in Karmiel-Misgav. An entire community mourns, as leaders of partnerships across Israel held special memorial services just like this one. “At this sad juncture in time, the Jewish community of Pittsburgh has become the singular community of all 46 partnerships,” said Andrea Arbel, Director of Partnership Unit at Jewish Agency For Israel. She continued by quoting Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life congregation... “You can cut off some branches—but the tree will continue to grow.”

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