The Tree of Life Groundbreaking Ceremony

June 25, 2024

The Tree of Life groundbreaking ceremony on June 23rd, 2024, marked a new beginning on the grounds of where the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history occurred on October 27, 2018. The ceremony honored the eleven lives lost and brought together survivors, family members, community members, first responders, government officials, and partners of the new Tree of Life gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new complex.

The event featured a distinguished list of speakers, including Diane Rosenthal, sister of two of the victims, survivor, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, Wolf Blitzer, a prominent journalist, and government leaders, Pennsylvania Governor, Josh Shapira and Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff.

The ceremony was about remembrance and also a resolute step towards the future. Carole Zawatsky, CEO of The Tree of Life, quoted Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, stating, "The secret is not how to begin but how to begin again."  This sentiment resonated throughout the event, with Zawatsky herself adding, "We respond to the violence and hate with love and action."  Jeffrey Solomon, Vice Chair of The Tree of Life, expressed the community's aspiration, "We want the Tree of Life to be a beacon of hope."

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Tree of Life center marks a pivotal moment – a testament to the community's resilience and a hopeful vision for the future. Here, where the darkest chapter unfolded, a new chapter of education and remembrance will be written.

Join the effort.