Hundreds gather at CMU to remember Joyce Fienberg and the 10 other victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting

By Amanda Klein | October 29, 2018

Hundreds of  people gathered Monday night at Carnegie Mellon University to mourn the loss of 75-year-old Joyce Fienberg and the 10 other people killed in Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.

The university’s auditorium reached capacity soon after it was opened and CMU police reluctantly started turning people away.  Yet hundreds patiently waited outside after the doors were closed.

CMU president Farnam Jahanian said, “I want to take a moment to address our Jewish students, colleagues and neighbors,”  We love you, we support you, we surround you and we protect you. ”

Joyce Fienberg worked as a research specialist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh from 1983 until she retired in 2008. Her husband, Stephen Fienberg, taught statistics and public policy at CMU until his death in 2016.

Rabbi Jamie Gibson, the senior rabbi at Temple Sinai addressed the crowd, telling them that while fear can be paralyzing it is important to recognize it and move forward.

“And the only thing that will help us move forward is to remember that the most important thing, is lo l’fached c’lal — do not give in to the fear,” he said. ”

The entire auditorium stood after the last speaker finished and recited the Jewish prayer for the dead known as Kaddish.

Earlier today Mayor Bill Peduto and Chief of Staff Daniel Gillman joined Rabbis, congregants, and residents for prayer at the Tree of Life synagogue memorial.

Pittsburgh Public Safety

The bodies of the 11 victims were released to their families on Monday and funerals for some of the victims will take place as early as Tuesday.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at


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