PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tree Of Life leaders are announcing new plans that involve the future of its congregation and its facilities.

The announcement is about the future of the building at Shady and Wilkins avenues. They say they’ll soon be working with consultants to move forward with a plan that involves the community.

It has taken some time to get to this point, but it was time the congregation needed.

“We really needed time for us to heal, for the community to heal,” said Tree of Life Executive Director Barb Feige.

They also say they’ll be working with various companies in order to secure funding for building renovations, programming and operations.

Feige says they’re looking forward to what the building will eventually become — a place of worship, but even more so, a center for the community. That’s where local consultants come in.

“One will help us with the fundraising campaign to raise the funds needed to rebuild the building and rebuild our programming,” said Feige.

They’ve also hired a local architecture firm to decide on how the building should look.

But it’s really about the education: teaching acceptance, eliminating hate and anti-semitism. They’ll be working very closely with the Holocaust Center.

“I think there’s a great synergy there between what the anti-semitism that caused the Tree of Life and it caused the Holocaust to bring those together to do something more hopeful for the future.”

And don’t expect for any of this to be done soon. They say this is a multi-year process.

In addition, they have shared that “Rothschild Doyno Collaborative,” an architectural and design firm located in the Strip District, will have a large part in renovating the building.

The firm has experience in working with other Jewish centers.

Tree of Life says that working with the firm, they’ll be able to connect with community partners to determine how to best use the spaces for the renovation and to ultimately start the design process.

RELATED STORIES: