Frankel: $200,000 awarded to Tree of Life for street, pedestrian improvements

Funding provided through Multimodal Transportation Fund Program

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19— State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, announced today that the Tree of Life synagogue has been awarded funding to make streetscape and pedestrian improvements outside the building in Squirrel Hill.

The funding was administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Multimodal Transportation Fund Program. This initiative makes funds available to municipalities and community organizations across the state to help support projects to develop, improve or rehabilitate transportation assets, including streets, sidewalks and bridges.

Tree of Life was awarded $200,000 to fund a project that focuses on new street lighting, sidewalk enhancements and improvements for pedestrian safety, disability accessible ramps, trees, planters and benches. The project also entails building a new garden outside the synagogues to memorialize the victims of the anti-Semitic mass shooting at the site in October 2018.

“These projects are part of Tree of Life congregation’s efforts to transform the site of tragedy into one of remembrance and education. The garden will serve to honor the 11 friends and neighbors we lost on that day as they gathered to worship at Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash, as well as marking an inclusive space that bridges divide and eliminates all forms of hate,” Frankel said. “I’m grateful to the administration for awarding this funding and to Tree of Life, allowing its building to be a catalyst for change.”

Tree of Life has also committed $121,943 of their own money toward the total cost of the project.