Responding to the Tree of Life

WHYY’s Program, The Why, recently produced a piece on local responses to the mass shooting in Pittsburgh. Rabbi Adam Zeff was featured.

How do you respond to the recent mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh? How do you grapple with the questions of why here and why now? There are no easy answers.

On this episode of The Why, we pose those questions to Rabbi Adam Zeff of Germantown Jewish Centre, the Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, and Chad Dion Lassiter, executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. To listen to the full program, click here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer discussed the #ShowUpForShabbat services that took place on November 2

At 6 p.m. Friday, Rabbi Adam Zeff of the Germantown Jewish Centre in Mount Airy will lead interfaith services during a weekend the synagogue reserves to celebrate the legacy of its former rabbi, Elias Charry, who was instrumental in persuading Jewish families to remain in Mount Airy in the 1960s and ’70s, when many Jews — and synagogues — were moving to the suburbs.

“He thought it was a religious duty to engage with different communities, and that we would learn more about what it means to be Jewish when we are in close contact with people who are not Jews,” said Zeff, noting that members are likely to be surrounded by an interfaith and interracial show of support from neighbors on Friday. To read the full article, click here.

Philly-area synagogues grapple with safety in the aftermath of Pittsburgh shooting

The GJC has been spared from this hateful wave, said Zeff. In the past, however, the congregation has been the target of anti-Semitic graffiti and a suspicious fire.

Zeff says the acts were disturbing, but they’re incomparable to what is being deemed as “the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”

“It’s not that those things didn’t disturb us,” he said, “They disturbed us a lot,” but the shooting in Pittsburgh “takes the ground out from under our feet.” To read the full article, click here.