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‘A Tree of Life’: Ware Center to host film, discussion about Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

(Source: HBO)

Millersville University is hosting a free film screening and panel discussion at the end of February that will focus on the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history.

The Thursday, Feb. 29, event at the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster, is the latest in the university’s ongoing “On Film/In Person” series.

The centerpiece will be a showing of the documentary, “A Tree of Life,” beginning at 7 p.m.

Preceding it at 6:15 p.m. will be a panel discussion featuring local academics and leaders, including:

  • Rabbi Jack Paskoff, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim
  • State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El
  • Joyous Bethel, School of Social Work, Millersville University
  • Scott Lerner, Judaic Studies Department, Franklin & Marshall College

Following the movie, there will be a Q&A with director Trish Adlesic, who will appear in person. She will be joined by Carol Black, who will appear via Skype. Black survived the shooting but her brother was one of those killed.

Tickets are free but are required for entry. To reserve tickets, click here, call (717) 871-7600, or visit the Ware Center or Millersville’s Student Memorial Center during their business hours.

On Oct. 27, 2018, a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 and wounding six. “A Tree of Life” is an in-depth portrait of the shooting survivors and the broader community as they deal with the aftermath of the horrific attack and try to heal.

“The film sheds light on the collective trauma suffered by a tight-knit group and brings into sharp focus the hate-based rhetoric that surrounds many of the mass shootings today, threatening the fabric of our society,” its creators say.

In a statement, Adlesic said: “I always wanted to honor the sacred memory of the victims by giving agency to the family members and survivors that felt comfortable sharing their experiences and feelings. They are the only ones I felt should tell the story.”

Adlesic, a Pittsburgh native, is a movie and TV industry veteran. Her producing credits include “Gasland,” a documentary about fracking, and a film she co-directed, “The ABCs of Book Banning,” is up for an Oscar this year.

Smith-Wade-El lived in Pittsburgh not far from the Tree of Life Synagogue while attending Carnegie Mellon University, where he graduated in 2014.