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A Senseless Tragedy

Dear TFA Families,
We are devastated as we watch the news unfold, and as more information is shared, about the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the United States. Our hearts ache for the congregation of the Tree of Life Synagogue, the city of Pittsburgh, and the Jewish community. There are no words to describe the sorrow that they are feeling today. When you look at the pictures you can see the pain and hurt in the eyes of the families, friends, and neighbors.

This senseless tragedy strikes close to home because many within our TFA family have connections to the great city of Pittsburgh. The community where this took place has been called one of the friendliest neighborhoods in America.

Especially in times like these, we need to look to God for comfort and strength. This weekend my youngest commented, “Dad, this stuff is happening way too often.” Recent events leave us feeling that those with evil in their hearts are targeting the places we hold most dear – our schools, our communities, and our places of worship. In moments like these, I find my greatest comfort in the words of scripture:

Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?”

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

As always when tragedy strikes, we think of the safety of our own kids and loved ones at TFA. Please know that we continue to keep the safety & security of our students as a top priority and continually review and perfect our procedures. With your help, we will remain vigilant and committed in our care for one another.

Tricia and I join you and all of our students in praying that God’s peace, comfort, and grace will be with us and among us in the days ahead. Our hearts are joined with the community of Squirrel Hill and the Jewish community around the world.

Sincerely,
Steve Whitaker, Ph.D.
Head of School

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