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On October 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on a Sabbath morning and killed half the people inside — there were 22 people inside, and only 11 came out alive. The man apprehended and arrested for the shooting had a history of posting antisemitic and anti-immigrant comments to far-right websites, and now he was accused of perpetrating the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history. And the murders were committed in not just any neighborhood, but in Squirrel Hill, one of the oldest, most close-knit, most stable Jewish neighborhoods in the world, a safe haven for Jews ever since its founding a century ago.

What did it mean — for Jews, and for Americans — that our country's deadliest attack on Jews had occurred in a neighborhood that had always been the ultimate “safe space”?

In this talk, featuring photographs from his definitive book, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood, based on 250 interviews with neighborhood residents, author Mark Oppenheimer will examine how the virtues of a close-knit ethnic neighborhood offer strategies for resilience in an era of gun violence and rising ethnic hatred.

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