The Pittsburgh Foundation

Foundation responds to synagogue shootings with #LoveIsStronger giving campaign

Critical Needs campaign will match all donations 100 percent

Charities include injured officers and Jewish congregations at Tree of Life

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 1, 2018 – The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Critical Needs crowdfunding program, which has raised nearly $4 million over the past five years for a range of human services, is now being launched to support organizations assisting victims of the mass shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

The Critical Needs event, under the #LoveIsStronger banner, is underway now at, the Foundation’s donation portal. People contributing to one or more of eight designated organizations during that period will have their donation matched dollar-for-dollar by the Foundation – up to $250,000. 

“A community foundation fulfills its most important responsibility when it embraces the region it serves in times of crisis and tragedy,” Foundation President and CEO Maxwell King said today in announcing the campaign.

“None of us at this Foundation ever imagined we would have to respond in the aftermath of a hate-fueled mass shooting at a synagogue in a Pittsburgh neighborhood. But now we are facing this and we’re determined that this foundation will help the community recover and heal. The #LoveIsStronger campaign is our first step.”  

King said all organizations benefitting from the campaign have been carefully reviewed by Foundation staff to determine that donations made through them will meet a range of needs. “As Pittsburghers, our hearts are crushed but our spirits must be strong. We pledge to help this community come together across varying backgrounds and political ideologies to grieve, confront the ravages of hateful speech and political rhetoric that can lead to such violence and demonstrate the unity that is the first step toward healing.”

King said that when the funerals conclude at the end of this week, staff will reach out to the designated organizations and others in the community to determine how the Foundation might assist with longer-term needs. “We will work with government officials at all levels, religious leaders and nonprofit/civic organization staffs in helping our community unite, heal and rebound. We hope the public will join us in this dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity for what we believe is our most important call to action.”

Organizations benefitting from the #LoveIsStronger Critical Needs Campaign are:

The Jewish Community Center: Offering crisis assistance for the families and the community.

Jewish Family and Community Services: Leading the community effort to provide emotional and therapeutic support to the bereaved and injured families and the wider community. Staff anticipates that many will need support and assistance for years, and some will need it for the rest of their lives.

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh: Victims of Terror Fund to help the families of the victims.

Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, Dor Hadash Congregation and New Light Congregation: To assist the families of the victims and to aid in the rebuilding of the synagogue.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1: For managing the Injured Officers Fund held at the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union to assist officers wounded or otherwise affected by Saturday’s attack.

HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society): Established in 1881 to help protect Jewish refugees, HIAS now protects and assists refugees around the world. Police believe the man charged in the shooting may have targeted Tree of Life because of an event the organization hosted days earlier at the synagogue.

About The Pittsburgh Foundation: Established in 1945, The Pittsburgh Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest community foundations. As a community foundation, its resources comprise endowment funds established by individuals, businesses and organizations with a passion for charitable giving and a deep commitment to the Pittsburgh community. Grantmaking benefits a broad spectrum of community life within Pittsburgh and beyond. Learn more at


Note: This release was updated on Nov. 3, when the campaign was extended through Sunday, Nov. 3, at 11:59 p.m. and matching funds increased from $150,000 to $250,000.