JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel has announced it will honor the head of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community during next month’s Independence Day celebrations, six months after 11 members of the community were killed in a synagogue shooting.

Israel’s Culture Ministry said Monday it had selected Jeff Finkelstein, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, to light a torch on behalf of the Jewish Diaspora as part of the government’s May 8 Independence Day festivities. It noted Finkelstein’s work to lead “the Jewish community’s efforts to cope and rebuild” after the deadly Tree of Life attack on Oct. 28.

In a statement, Culture Minister Miri Regev praised Finkelstein embodiment of the “spirit of greatness and social cohesion among our people.”

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