Three congregations were worshiping in the Tree of Life synagogue on the morning of Saturday, October 27, 2018. Tree of Life *Or L’Simcha Congregation owned the building and rented space to New Light Congregation and Congregation Dor Hadash. In the months since the attack, many public accounts have used the shorthand “three congregations” to explain the shared living arrangements within a single large Squirrel Hill synagogue.
Grouping these three congregations together based solely on their mutual suffering ignores their individual characteristics. Each was created to fill specific religious and spiritual needs. Each developed along a particular path, reflecting different eras, ethnicities, practices, and ideas within American Judaism.
To learn more about these three congregations, visitors can view an exhibit of rarely seen documents and photographs from the collections of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center.