Community Resilience and the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

  • Suzanne Vogel-ScibiliaEmail author


This chapter summarizes the circumstances, individual experiences, and community response to the mass shooting involving three separate Jewish congregations at the Tree of Life building in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. Because the shooting involved three separate congregations, this author has designated it the Pittsburgh shooting. Utilizing testimony from the Pittsburgh Jewish community in the form of open-ended discussion, resilience themes were noted and tallied from ten individuals spanning millenials to octogenarians, survivors at the building that day to survivors of the Holocaust, and therapists/administrators leading post-incident counseling to religious leaders in the community – all connected to the congregations worshipping at the Tree of Life building. Topics involved this tragedy as well as broader anti-Semitism themes, including perceptions during their lives and in the aftermath of the shooting. Further discussion involved what behaviors or cognitive precepts promote resilience in the face of discrimination and trauma. Later commentary explores the characteristics of anti-Semitic-based trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder including similarities and differences from other types of violence-related trauma. The impact of social media sites that foment hate speech will be delineated in the context of mass shootings. Factors that support resilience and trauma prevention for individuals and the broader community will be listed.


Anti-Semitism Tree of Life New Light Dor Hadash Resilience Holocaust Trauma Social media Mass murder Shooting Pittsburgh 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chatham UniversityPittsburghUSA

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