Pennsylvania will allocate $6.6 million in funding to redevelop the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where in 2018 a gunman murdered 11 worshippers and wounded six others in the worst antisemitic attack in US history.
The state's governor, Tom Wolf, made the announcement at a press conference on Monday outside of the congregation in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, calling the contribution for the renovation a "Chanukah present" on the final day of the Jewish Festival of Lights.
“Tree of Life is undertaking a project to remember the past, to inform the present, and promote healing for the future,” Wolf said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And I am so proud to support the communities’ efforts to reimagine this space, to create a welcoming place for residents, for visitors in Pittsburgh to reflect, and to learn, and to grow.”
The money will be used to renovate the main sanctuary and replace the chapel, where the victims were killed on October 27, 2018 when the suspect, Robert Bowers, burst into the synagogue shouting "all Jews must die" as he opened fire, according to police.
The synagogue also plans to build a memorial garden to the 11 victims.
Bowers, who pleaded not guilty, is facing dozens of federal and state charges, including capital crimes and hate crimes.