November 19, 2019

‘60 Minutes’ Reports: Tree of Life, One Year Later

Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Photo from CBS

Commemorating the anniversary of the deadliest act of anti-Semitism in U.S. history, “60 Minutes” will broadcast a report from Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Sunday, Oct. 27. In the report, Lesley Stahl interviews rabbis, congregants and leaders of non-Jewish congregations who came to the aid of their neighbors in the aftermath of the attack that left 11 dead and 7 injured, including five first responders.

The program includes a debate about gun control and whether armed guards should be present at synagogues. “What were we thinking? We thought we’re so safe in America?” said Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the New Light congregation at Tree of Life. “Every single synagogue in Europe has an armed guard. The tragedy is that, you know, it shouldn’t be an act of courage to enter a house of worship.”

Islamic Center of Pittsburgh leader Wasi Mohamed, whose mosque stepped in to raise burial money for the Tree of Life victims, told Stahl, “We understand this more so than a lot of communities do unfortunately. We can understand this pain and the fear of lack of security. Black churches have never been safe…mosques have never been safe in this country. Synagogues have always been targets. It’s been used as a fear tactic against our communities for generations since this country was founded. [The message is] ‘If you’re not safe in this sanctuary, you’re just not safe here, leave.’”

’60 Minutes’ airs at 7 p.m. on CBS.