PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jewish organizations in Pittsburgh marked the first night of Hanukkah amid the war in Israel and a surge in antisemitism.
Thursday's event was hosted by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
"We have a long-standing history of a deep relationship with the people of Israel," said Brian Schreiber, the chief external affairs officer of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. "And anytime that we can amplify that, especially on a holiday built around dedication of Jewish practice and principles, is a wonderful opportunity."
The room at the JCC was filled with community members who were there to understand what happened on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel.
"Three of my friends were kidnapped," Hila Fakliro said. "Six of them are dead. A lot of them got injured, but thank God me and most of my friends are OK."
Pittsburgh was one of 20 communities that welcomed survivors of the attack to share their experiences. Community leaders are hoping events like the one on Thursday will help combat mass misinformation and spread awareness.
"It's really important that we hear their stories," Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said. "It's important that we know the stories of what's taken place in Jewish history so that it doesn't repeat itself."
On Thursday morning, Tree of Life unveiled its plans for a new memorial five years after the nation's deadliest antisemitic attack.
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