(Above) In the past year, the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Heinz History Center has collected thousands of letters written to individuals and organizations within the local Jewish community following the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. Some were sent directly to various organizations, while others were left at an impromptu memorial outside of the synagogue. Image courtesy of Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center.
Soon after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives began collecting documentation of the attack and its aftermath.
In the months since, the RHJPA has undertaken the following tasks:
- led a field gather campaign to collect programs, speeches, signs and other pieces of documentation of dozens of interfaith vigils, political rallies and other public events;
- overseen emergency preservation of several thousand memorial objects placed at two spontaneous memorials along Wilkins Avenue, outside the Tree of Life synagogue;
- worked with survivors, families, congregations and community groups on an effort to digitize and catalog tens of thousands of condolence letters and memorial objects;
- conducted 36 oral history interviews with local Jewish leaders;
- compiled a comprehensive database of local news media coverage on the attack;
- solicited digital content from the general public using an online submissions portal;
- and preserved online content using a combination of web archiving services.
This collecting initiative remains in its infancy. It will continue as long as the flow of documentation continues, which will certainly last for years and is likely to persist for decades or even centuries.
In accordance with our mission, we are working to make as much of this material as widely accessible as possible, as quickly as possible. In pursuing that goal, we must be mindful of the sensitivity of these materials. To balance our desire to disseminate these images with our responsibility to the victims and the local Jewish community, each of these thousands of objects must be reviewed before being digitized and cataloged.
Help us by making a monetary donation:
You can help the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives by making a donation that will directly support the digitization efforts of Tree of Life materials.
Help us by contributing your digital content:
The History Center is collecting digital images, sound and film recordings, social media, typed recollections, and other digital content relating to the events at Tree of Life, as well as memorials, rallies and community gatherings around the world. You can help us by sharing your documentation of these events.
To submit a file or URL location, please use our Collection Form. For assistance, please contact RJArchives@heinzhistorycenter.org.
Before submitting, please review these Guidelines and Terms.
Help us by contributing physical items:
The History Center is collecting physical items such as programs, signs, transcripts of speeches and remarks, commemorative objects, flags, and other ephemera relating to the events at Tree of Life, as well as memorials, rallies and community gatherings around the world.
To offer physical material, please contact Eric Lidji, Director of the Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives at RJArchives@heinzhistorycenter.org.
Contribution Guidelines and Terms
The Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives of the Heinz History Center is collecting materials relating to the events of Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue and its response throughout communities worldwide. Please read the following guidelines before submitting your content:
• All accepted items will be made available for public research by the Detre Library & Archives at the Heinz History Center.
• By submitting content through this form, you are granting the History Center non-exclusive (shared), royalty-free license to preserve, modify, and share your content for public research, educational use, exhibits, or publication, including in print or online.
• The Heinz History Center reserves the right to remove content that it considers duplicative, inappropriate, or outside the scope of the project. The History Center is not obligated to include your content in this project or preserve it in perpetuity.
• Please only submit photographic, audio, or video material which you own or have created. If you would like to refer or nominate material which you do not own, please contact us at RJArchives@heinzhistorycenter.org.
• You must be 18 years of age or older to submit content.