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remember.rebuild.renew

05/05/2022 08:08:42 AM

May5

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

When I venture into something new, I will try to find something comparable to learn from that aids me in my journey. I’ve thought much about this over the past 3 ½ years as Tree of Life continues on its journey. We are in the process of creating something new. The challenge is that there is no comparable model in existence to reference. There is no prior synagogue that underwent what we did on 10.27. There is no synagogue that welcomes a Holocaust Center into its being as a new institution to educate about antisemitism and work to eliminate it. There is no synagogue that offers a space for remembrance like ours. So where does one go?

The process of creating something new that has never existed demands that we collaborate and learn from many people in disparate fields that can share their own perspective, and then finding ways to weave these different perspectives together to create a heretofore never seen tapestry. Much progress continues to be made, with much more to do. The careful steps that we are taking also means that to many in the congregation, it is not fast enough. Most, if not all of us want to be back in our spiritual home yesterday. Deep down, we all recognize that is just not possible. As I learned from a contractor many years ago: measure twice, cut once.

We announced to the world this past Tuesday the progress that we have made, and you can learn about it at www.RememberRebuildRenew.org.  You will see a few visualizations from Studio Libeskind of what they are imagining the new institution may look like. You will read about our lofty, yet necessary goal, of eliminating antisemitism. You will appreciate the efforts to create a space for remembrance.

This is exciting, yet also daunting in that there is much more work to be done. Arriving at this place offers reassurance that we are getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, and I used light because that image and metaphor are foundational aspects of our new building which you will see and hopefully appreciate at the abovementioned site. As beautiful and inspirational the new structure portends to be, equally important is what happens within its walls and what flows out of it. We will be a place of light and hope, and not merely to our congregants or to the community or to Pittsburgh. Rather, we will do so for the world, for there is no institution that combines all that we will be doing under one roof.

It’s a good day, and I look forward to more good days with further important news and progress. Stay tuned.

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782