Victims of Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue terror attack to be remembered with memorial

Preliminary designs were unveiled on Thursday


Designs of a memorial for those killed in the deadly 2018 attack at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue have been unveiled.

The families of the victims began discussions about the memorial three years ago. 

Preliminary designs reveal an outdoor memorial could be located adjacent to the synagogue and includes a walkway leading to a garden where 11 open books will be sculpted.

Each book represents a victim and the ‘Book of Life’, where, according to Jewish tradition, the righteous are named.

Architect Daniel Libeskind, whose New York practice Studio Libeskind is designing the memorial along with the redesign of the synagogue, is meeting regularly with the group of families.

He told AP: ​​"To be inscribed in the Book of Life is to be inscribed in eternity, to be inscribed in memory."

Libeskind said the memorial is "not a cemetery” but “an affirmation of life."

The cost of the memorial has not been fixed, but fundraising will be conducted by the Tree of Life organisation.

The organisation is distinct from the congregation - which is also overseeing the building's reconstruction.

Plans for the synagogue also include preserving parts of the existing structure, with demolition of other portions expected to begin soon.

Diane Rosenthal, who lost two brothers in the 2018 attack, said: “It was a hard process because each of us was in their own place."

He went on to say: "We wanted a memorial that was going to focus not solely on how they died, but how they lived."

The Tree of Life shooting was the deadliest single attack on the Jewish community in the history of the US. 

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