Catholic School Students Gift “Tree of Life” to CBE

First reported on by The Brooklyn Paper, “students at [St. Saviour Catholic Academy] trekked to a local synagogue to gift their Jewish neighbors an orange tree, in memory of a massacre that claimed 11 lives at a Pittsburgh temple last year. The act of interfaith generosity allowed the kids to take an active and positive role in one of America’s darkest episodes, according to a parent.”

To make the tree, kids at Eighth Avenue’s St. Savior Academy folded 11 white origami doves — one for each victim of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in October — which they attached to the small fruit tree. The students then loaded it into a little red wagon on Thursday, and marched the six blocks to CBE.

The Tablet reported, “organizer Sandra Rossier…came up with the idea following the October massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in October that killed 11 congregants and wounded seven others.”

“While the touching gift from St. Saviour came as a surprise to us, it is ultimately no surprise that another Park Slope institution values the act of reaching out to neighbors in their time of need as highly as we do,” says Cantor Josh Breitzer. “Like the beautiful orange tree we received, we hope and pray that such thoughtful acts of loving kindness will flourish across boundaries of all kinds, both here in Brooklyn and far beyond our borough.”

Patch Park Slope reported, “when the students brought the tree, [Congregation] Beth Elohim was waiting with fruit and cookies as part of their Purim holiday tradition sharing gifts with friends and neighbors…”

“Now, maybe more than ever, we need our Catholic, Muslim, and friends of all faiths to come together and support one another,” said Sam Sterling, Director of Membership and Engagement. “Every time we look at this incredible Tree of Life, we will remember this most important mitzvah that St. Saviour has done for us. They are true mensches!”

The tree will be kept indoors until the summer, when it will be planted in our courtyard garden under the care of our Yachad students.