Tree of Life Campaign
Home for Refugees USA and The Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees have begun a fundraising campaign to help resettle refugee families in the memory of the victims of the Tree of Life shooting.
Nikki Sieger, a childhood friend of Minda Schweizer, the founder of Home for Refugees, is a great granddaughter of one of the founding members of Tree of Life in the 1860s.
Nikki wrote these sentiments following the tragedy:
עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ. וְתמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר:
דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נעַם וְכָל נְתִיבותֶיהָ שָׁלום:
הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה' אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה. חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם:
"Etz Chaim He - A tree of life to those who hold fast to it, and all who cling to it find happiness. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace. Help us and guide us, inspire us and provide us with the wisdom Your Torah can show. Cause us to learn, renew and return, Just as in days of old.”
Nikki’s father and his family are from Pittsburgh. His great grandfather was one of the founding members of the Tree of Life synagogue in the 1860s. He and other immigrants came to this country to escape poverty, violence and anti-Semitism. Nikki’s family has been connected to TOL for 5 generations.
The man responsible for the murderous rampage that took place on Saturday, believed that Jews should be killed because we are willing to support refugees escaping the same poverty, violence and persecution that brought Nikki’s family to this country.
The Torah instructs us 36 times to care for the stranger — far more than it commands us to observe the Sabbath or any other law. Tree of Life was founded on these values and no amount of hatred, violence or despair will cause us to renounce these values.
We ask you to honor the 11 victims of this senseless tragedy by supporting refugee resettlement of newly arriving families to Southern California, please donate to Home for Refugees USA using the giving button at the top of this page.
As it is written in Exodus, 'You shall not wrong nor oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.'
#pittsburghstrong #synagogeshootings #InterfaithSupport #HelpRefugees #RespondInLoveNotHate #SolidarityShabbat
Together with gratitude,
OC Jewish Coalition for Refugees
Congregation B’nai David-Judea, Los Angeles, CA
Executive Director of Home for Refugees USA
Give today to help Love Triumph Over Hate!
We need the continued and increased generosity of current and new donors to join us in our work. Would you contribute a special gift in memory of Tree of Life to help Home for Refugees USA bring healing and wholeness through refugee resettlement to the families in our programs?