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Response to Tragedy

Targeted for Helping Refugees Find a Home in Pittsburgh, How Jewish Groups Aiding in Resettlement Are Responding

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Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, surrounded by reporters at the Jewish Family and Community Services press conference Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh. Photo: Mary Niederberger/PublicSource

The participation of the Dor Hadash congregation in a national celebration to welcome refugees may have drawn hateful attention from the gunman who killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Saturday.

Dor Hadash, one of three congregations that shares the synagogue, was among 300 congregations in the United States and Canada to participate on Oct. 19 and 20 in the National Refugee Shabbat sponsored by HIAS, a national Jewish resettlement agency.

In anti-Semitic, anti-refugee writings on a social media platform favored by extremists, gunman Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, singled out HIAS and posted a link to its website with information on participants in the Shabbat.

“To think that that attack happened because of that, because they were welcoming refugees…” Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, said at a Tuesday morning press conference at Jewish Family and Community Services [JFCS] in Squirrel Hill.

Read the rest of the story from PublicSource here.