PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When an assassin massacred Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October, of the first step up in support were members of the Pittsburgh Islamic Community.
Friday, after news of the mosque massacres in New Zealand, reached Pittsburgh, local Jewish leaders took steps to reciprocate that support.
“Our responsibility as the Islamic Community was here for us in our time of need is to be right back to be in their time of need to support,” said Brian Schreiber, president of the Jewish Community Center.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh acted quickly to establish a relief fund with donations going to help Muslims recover in New Zealand.
But Schreiber says the local response should be more than financial.
“It also means we need to be sharing with them at the Islamic Center our grief and our feeling of our support for them so they don’t feel alone in that journey.”
As Muslims grieved here at the Pittsburgh Islamic Center in Oakland, Schreiberg, along with several rabbis and Christian leaders, joined with Muslim worshippers in their Friday afternoon prayers.
Mohammad Sajjad of the Islamic Center said relations between the religious communities here is solid in mutual support — especially in times of tragedy.
“We have each other’s backs and we’re all here for each other. That’s one thing I love about Pittsburgh.”