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Wilton Library: Author Mark Oppenheimer Speaks on "Pittsburgh and Beyond: Antisemitism from the 2018 Synagogue Shooting to Today"

Submitted by elmstreetbooks on Tue, 03/12/2024 - 9:46am

Event Details from Wilton Library

Please join Wilton Library and the Wilton Coalition to Combat Antisemitism for an important talk, "Pittsburgh and Beyond: Antisemitism from the 2018 Synagogue Shooting to Today," by Mark Oppenheimer, NY Times columnist, Pulitzer grantee and author of Squirrel Hill, the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood, on Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m.  

Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the country, known for its tight-knit community and the profusion of multigenerational families. On October 27, 2018, a gunman killed eleven Jews who were worshiping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill - the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in American history.

Many neighborhoods would be understandably subsumed by despair and recrimination after such an event, but not this one. Oppenheimer poignantly shifts the focus away from the criminal and his crime, and instead presents the historic, spirited community at the center of this heartbreak. He speaks with residents and nonresidents, Jews and gentiles, survivors and witnesses, teenagers and seniors, activists and historians.

Together, these stories provide a kaleidoscopic and nuanced account of collective grief, love, support, and revival.  But he also details the difficult dialogue and messy confrontations that Squirrel Hill had to face in the process of healing, and that are a necessary part of true growth and understanding in any community. He has reverently captured the vibrancy and caring that still characterize Squirrel Hill, and it is this phenomenal resilience that can provide inspiration to any place burdened with discrimination and hate.

Mark Oppenheimer has been covering American religion for 25 years. He holds a PhD in religious studies from Yale, and has taught at Stanford, Wesleyan, Wellesley, NYU, Boston College, and Yale, where he was the founding director of the Yale Journalism Initiative. He wrote the "Beliefs" column for The New York Times from 2010 - 2016, and has also written for The New YorkerThe NationGQSlate, and many more. He created Unorthodox, the world's most popular podcast about Jewish life and culture, and more recently hosted the multi-part podcast, Gatecrashers, about the history of Jews and antisemitism at Ivy League schools. He is the author of five books, including Squirrel Hill. Since 2023, he has been director of open learning at American Jewish University. Mark lives in Connecticut with his wife, four daughters, one son, and two dogs.

Elm Street Books will be selling copies of the book, which the author will sign after the program.

Presented in partnership with Wilton Library, the Wilton Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, and the Riverbrook Regional YMCA, serving Wilton, Norwalk, and Redding. The media sponsor for this event is GOOD Morning Wilton.

Registration is required. Please register online, or call (203) 761-6334. For additional information contact Caryn at

Event date: 
Monday, March 25, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Wilton Library
Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood By Mark Oppenheimer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 5th, 2021