Pittsburgh federation raises more than $1 million in wake of shooting


(JTA) — The central fundraising organization of the Pittsburgh Jewish community has raised a million dollars in the wake of the synagogue shooting.

Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, told JTA that his organization has received more than $500,000 in online donations. In addition to corporate contributions and large donations from foundations and private individuals, the total is more than $1 million. Part of that money will go toward helping the families of victims, he said on a conference call Thursday morning.

“This was a horrible tragedy, this was the slaughter of Jews,” he said in the call with representatives of other Jewish federations. “Our community is doing great things in response. … But it’s not about that. It’s about these 11 families. This is horrible for them and my heart goes out to them.”

The funerals of the 11 victims from the Tree of Life Congregation attack on Saturday began on Tuesday, and the final one will be held Friday.

In the days since the massacre, Finkelstein said donations have poured in from a wide range of groups and institutions. United Airlines has provided free flights to the families of victims, and Giant Eagle, a local supermarket, gave away gift cards to purchase food for the shivas. The accounting firm Deloitte is providing free tax services and estate planning to the families.

Muslim groups have raised more than $150,000 to cover funeral costs. And Finkelstein said other local communities are also paying respects. The local Bhutanese community, he said, will be holding a memorial soon.

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