Photo Credit: Rafi Ben Hakun, KKL-JNF
Pittsburgh's Mayor Bill Peduto visits the memorial plaque honoring Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting victims.

Pittsburgh’s Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto on Sunday visited the memorial plaque established in honor of the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Synagogue shooting victims.

Just several weeks after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the JNF leadership decided that these victims should be commemorated in Israel, as part of JNF’s commitment for the Jewish Diaspora.


Mayor Peduto was welcomed by the head of the Conservative movement in Israel, Dr. Yizhar Hess, and JNF Chief of Protocol Andy Michaelson, who also gave the mayor a tour of the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza established by JNF and JNF-USA.

Following the tour, JNF held a formal ceremony for Mayor Peduto, in which he planted an olive tree to symbolize peace and continuity.

The mayor’s visit to Israel is part of the 33rd International Mayors’ Conference held by AJWC and American Jewish Congress.

After seeing the memorial plaque, Mayor Peduto said: “I have a long history with the Tree of Life congregation, I knew some of the victims personally.”

JNF-USA CEO Russel Robinson said, “JNF-USA is the voice linking America and Israel. We know that when tragedy befalls either of our communities, we stand together to strengthen one-another. We are proud to represent the Pittsburgh community in Israel as an enduring reminder of this unshakable bond.”