Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Hanukkah Candle-Lighting Ceremony Held Outside Tree Of Life Synagogue

(JTA) — A Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony to strengthen and heal the Pittsburgh Jewish community was held outside of the Tree of Life synagogue building.

Hundreds gathered Sunday evening around a towering electric menorah in front of the building where 11 worshippers were killed by a gunman during Shabbat morning services. The eight-branched menorah stood in the spot where a temporary memorial had been erected for the victims of the shooting attack, which had been visited by thousands, including President Donald Trump, in the days following the Oct. 27 attack.

The candle for the first night of Hanukkah was lit by a group including police officers, paramedics, the head of the local FBI office and survivors of the massacre, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

“As in ancient times, [when] Jewish people strove for independence, strove for religious freedom, so, too, today we strive to be able to freely worship in our sacred places,” Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the New Light congregation, that met in the building and lost congregants, told the crowd on Sunday night.

He said that Hanukkah will never be the same for him. “I never made the connection before between hope and Hanukkah. But from now on, I will always celebrate this holiday with the idea that hope is always a possibility,” he said, according to the newspaper.

Perlman and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha led the crowd in singing Hanukkah songs.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.