PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The healing and rebuilding process continues after the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue about 2 1/2 years ago.
KDKA sat down with members of the Jewish community about their continued recovery from that tragic day.READ MORE: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For Pittsburgh Area; High Winds, Potential Hail Expected
“It was very surreal. This neighborhood is home. This community is home,” 10.27 Healing Partnership Director Maggie Feinstein said.
“Hurt, anger, fear,” New Light Co-President Stephen Cohen said about the emotions he felt after the attack.
Eleven members of the three congregations — Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash — were killed by a gunman. The images of the tragic day are still fresh. For the first 1 1/2 years, the tragedy felt like yesterday to Cohen.
“It feels like it was two weeks ago. Maybe a month. It’s no longer yesterday,” Cohen said.
In the immediate aftermath, the 10.27 Healing Partnership was created. It’s a place of healing and resiliency.
“We don’t want to go around it. We don’t want to forget. We want to remember, and we’re stronger by remembering,” Feinstein said. “What trauma does is it tries to disconnect us. We want to withdrawal. But when we do that, what happens is that we then are not stronger.”
During this rebuilding and healing process, another hardship hit: the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE: Consumer Alert Issued For Italian Village Pizza/Shake Shop In Pleasant Hills
“For us, we went from a shooting right into a pandemic. There’s been no chance for to catch a real breath,” said Jeff Finkelstein of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
He hopes the community is able to take a breath soon.
“Hopefully, we’ll be at a point where we start to get to that point of normalcy again. I don’t think we will ever get there fully though,” he told KDKA.
Finkelstein said part of rebuilding is coming together as one community.
“I think if we can continue to build those. It will make for a better Pittsburgh,” he said.
The holes are still in the hearts across the community.
“Healing is something that goes on forever. You never really recover. There are ways a piece of your heart that dies,” Cohen said.MORE NEWS: Police: 2 Young Kids Critically Hurt In Quadruple Shooting
Community leaders said if you are in need of support, reach out to the 10.27 Healing Partnership.