Supporting Students, Faculty and Staff Following Tree of Life Tragedy
As a school community, as a Pittsburgh community, our hearts are broken as we try to understand this terrible, painful tragedy that occurred in Squirrel Hill. The tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue affects us all. As we mourn this tremendous loss of life of -family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers – our thoughts and prayers go out the victims, their families, and the larger Jewish community. We are grateful to Law Enforcement and First Responders who risked their lives to save others.
Please know that to support our students and staff, in the schools most affected by this tragedy, we will have both student and employee assistance available as long as needed. As always, our School Police works closely with the City of Pittsburgh Police to ensure an appropriate presence throughout the District.
The beauty of our nation is the diversity of its people. We stand in solidarity with the members of our Jewish community. As Pittsburghers, we are a family. As Pittsburgh Public Schools, we are a family. We must stick together as a family and stand against any form of hate and intolerance.
Resources for Parents and Families
Keep in mind that this week’s event may affect some children more than others. Some students may worry it will happen to them. It is essential to help students understand what happened in terms they can understand.
Please know that you can contact your child's school for support. In addition, Allegheny County has a 24-hour Crisis Network call RESOLVE. RESOLVE, that can always be utilized after school hours. The RESOLVE number is 1-888-7-YOU CAN (1800-796-8226).
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has resources, assembled by experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition, the ADL, and others to support these difficult conversations.
Israel Trauma Coalition:
Practical Advice for Parents: How to Help Your Child Following a Trauma
Gun Violence and Mass Shootings
Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate (In English and En Español)
Dr. Debi Gilboa in Next Pittsburgh:
How to talk to your kids about the mass shooting in Pittsburgh
American School Counselor Association has resources available at https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors/professional-development/learn-more/shooting-resources.
*Students in Pittsburgh Westinghouse carpentry students created a memorial for the 11 victims of Tree of Life tragedy and the two victims of hate crime that took place in Kentucky the same week.
Ways to Support
Pittsburgh Greenfield Special Donut Sale
Pittsburgh Greenfield will be sponsoring a Special Donut Sale on Friday, November 2, 2018, from 7:45-8;30 AM. This “Special" fundraiser to support the Police Officers who were injured this past weekend. Police officers from Zone 4 police station work closely with the Greenfield School community. Please come out to support the school and make a donation!
Donate Books to Help Children Process Traumatic Events Close to Home
The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development has joined the Pitt Early Childhood partners in donating books to children processing with traumatic events, occurring close to home. They have carefully curated a list of books designed to help children understand how to manage fear and embrace diversity. The books will be distributed to early childcare facilities in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding areas. The effort seeks to gather at least 8,000 books. Simply visit the Amazon wishlist to select books, purchase, and send to Pitt’s Office of Child Development for delivery to early childhood providers.
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh – Victims of Terror Fund
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has developed the Our Victims of Terror Fund https://jfedpgh.org/our-victims-of-terror to help the victims of the tragedy at Tree of Life or L’Simcha, Dor Hadash and New Light. These funds are earmarked for the “psychological services, support for families, general services, reconstruction, additional security throughout the community, medical bills for all those involved, as well as counseling and other services that may prove necessary in the future.”
The Jewish Federation also has volunteer opportunities available to aid those in the community. Contact David Chudnow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-992-5209.
GoFundMe Certified Campaign
A verified GoFundMe is available to support survivors and victims’ families. The funds will be sent directly to the Tree of Life Congregation https://www.gofundme.com/tree-of-life-synagogue-shooting.
There is a need for blood, particularly O-positive, O-negative and platelet donations. Blood can be given at any blood donation center. The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive inside the William Pitt Building at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday, November 2, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can register for an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org. Use the code PITT.
News and Information
Moment of Silence – October 29, 2018
All District schools will begin the day with a moment of silence and reflection.
The following schools with a bus stop at Shady and Wilkins Avenues will be rerouted to stop at Shady and Northumberland until further notice: Carlow Campus School, The Ellis School, Winchester Thurston, Pittsburgh Colfax K-8, Faulk Laboratory School, and Shadyside Academy.
City League Championship Game Rescheduled
The City League Football Championship game between the Pittsburgh Allderdice Dragons and Pittsburgh Westinghouse Bulldogs has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at 7:00 PM at Cupples Stadium. Both teams will start the game with a moment of silence honoring this weekend’s victims and all victims of violence.