PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In the wake of the Tree of Life massacre, some 8,500 donors from eight countries and 48 of the 50 states responded, donating about $6.3 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and its “Victims of Terror Fund.”
Now, the work of an independent committee, headed by Giant Eagle CEO David Shapira, is finished. The money has been distributed and a judge has signed off on the committee’s report.
“These civic leaders really wanted to put a report out publicly to make sure that people understood the work that went into it and to make sure the donor intent was met,” Adam Hertzman of the Jewish Federation said.
The committee decided that the majority of the money would go to those most directly impacted.
The families of those killed and worshippers seriously wounded in the attack received $4.4 million.
About $437,000 went to individuals who were trapped during the assault and $48,000 to others in the building at the time.
The committee designated and distributed $500,000 to police officers physically injured in the rescue of worshippers and the arrest of the suspect.
The remaining $950,000 has been distributed in the form of grants to the community and synagogue’s three congregations: Tree of Life, Dor Hadash and New Light.
In addition to this fund, donations also went directly to those congregations which have been meeting to decide what to do with that money and their future.
In the next two weeks, the congregations will be announcing a theme and a number of events to commemorate the first anniversary of the attack.
But undecided are the longer-term decisions of whether to restore the synagogue or to raze the building and build a memorial to the victims.
The three congregations will try to make those decisions prior to the Oct. 27 anniversary.
If not, they hope to at least define a process.