Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Respond to the October 27th Attack [Hardback]

Eric Slidji (Editor); Beth Kissileff (Editor)

ISBN: 9780822946519 | Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press | Year of Publication: 2021 | Language: English 224p, H229 x W152 (mm)
Status: Not yet published - advance orders taken

Bound in the Bond of Life


On October 27, 2018, three congregations were holding their morning Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood when a lone gunman entered the building and opened fire. He killed eleven people and injured six more in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. The story made national headlines for weeks following the shooting, but Pittsburgh and the local Jewish community could not simply move on when the news cycle did. The essays in this anthology, written by local journalists, academics, rabbis, and other community members, reveal a city’s attempts to cope, make sense of, and come to terms with an unfathomable horror. Here, members from the three impacted congregations are able to reflect on their experiences in a raw, profound way. Local reporters who wrote about the event professionally contribute stories that they were unable to articulate until now. Activists consider their work at a calm distance from the chaotic intensity of their daily efforts. Academics mesh their professional expertise with their personal experiences of this shattering event in their hometown. Rabbis share their process of crafting comforting messages for their constituents when they themselves felt hopeless. By bringing local voices together into a chorus, they are raised over the din of national and international chroniclers who offer important contributions but do not and cannot feel the intensity of this tragedy in the same way as locals. The essays in this anthology tell a collective story of city shaken to its very core, but determined that love will ultimately win.

Reviews & Quotes

"But Bound in the Bond of Life does more than humanize a historic event: it gives us the rare opportunity to see what happens “after the vigil,” […] From the challenges of handling the artifacts that were created in response to the massacre to the difficulties of moving forwards as a congregation, the essays in the book explore the many small steps that take place long after the public attention shifts elsewhere. By doing so, they offer us more than a glimpse into other people’s experience; they reveal to us their courage and resilience, and offer inspiration when it comes to our own lives."
Rachel Sharansky Danziger
The Times of Israel (03/11/2020)

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

Memory usage: real: 23592960, emalloc: 23021912
Code ProfilerTimeCntEmallocRealMem