Carnegie Mellon University
October 26, 2023

Five Years On: Remembering 10.27.2018

Dear Members of the CMU Community:

Five years ago tomorrow, members of the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, Dor Hadash and New Light congregations were horrifically attacked while worshiping just one mile from Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. Eleven Pittsburghers lost their lives, others were injured, and this attack remains as the deadliest assault on Jews to occur on American soil.

For many of us in Pittsburgh that day – and for Jewish people across the country – life will always be divided into two distinct chapters: “Before October 27” and “After.”

Before the tragedy, we may have let ourselves believe that the worst of antisemitism was behind us in the United States. But now, five years after — and with the rise of antisemitism worldwide — we know better.

There is great power and meaning in coming together as a community. Five years ago, we responded to this massacre in one of the most urgent and inspiring shows of solidarity that I have ever witnessed. We showed up together — regardless of faith — taking a unified stand against hate. And we spoke up together, affirming clear support for our Jewish neighbors, colleagues and friends.

For those whose lives were impacted and continue to be impacted by this horrific tragedy: We recognize the weight of this day, and we are here for you and for each other.

Tomorrow, we will gather and leverage the strength of our community once again. At 10 a.m. on Oct. 27, I invite all Tartans to meet in Simmons Auditorium in Tepper Quad to remember the victims of the attack, support those with deep scars, and honor the resilience of our Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh communities. All are welcome to join.

As I have reaffirmed in my communications, especially over the last month: Intolerance, hatred and prejudice have no place on our campus. I urge you to continue to believe in a future where every member of our campus — regardless of where you come from, what you look like, how you live or who you love — feels safe, welcome and valued.

With compassion and gratitude,

Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair