Pittsburgh synagogue disputes Biden’s claim he visited after shooting

Tree of Life executive director disputes Biden’s claim in call with Jewish leaders that he visited the synagogue after 2018 attack.

Ben Ariel ,

Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh
Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

The executive director of one of the Pittsburgh synagogues targeted in a shooting attack in 2018 on Thursday disputed US President Joe Biden’s claim that he visited the synagogue after the attack, The New York Post reported.

Biden had told Jewish leaders in a virtual address that he spent time at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the October 2018 mass murder of 11 people there.

“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” Biden said.

However, Barb Feige, executive director of the Tree of Life, told The Post that Biden did not visit the synagogue in the nearly three years since the anti-Semitic attack.

In a phone interview, Feige firmly said “no” when asked whether Biden had visited the synagogue, saying he did not visit even before taking office when he had a lower public profile as a former vice president and then-Democratic presidential candidate.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Then-President Donald Trump visited the Tree of Life synagogue three days after the anti-Semitic shooting attack.

Biden, who was then the Democratic presidential nominee, issued a statement on the second anniversary of the attack last year, in which he said, “When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul.”

The Pittsburgh shooter, Robert Bowers, was charged with killing 11 people during the October 27, 2018 attack, and injuring six others, including four police officers.

The shooter was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns and allegedly yelled “I want to kill all Jews” during the attack.

He was initially indicted on 44 counts. Later, a federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers. He has pleaded not guilty to all 63 federal counts.