Muslim Crowdfunding Campaigns Raise $750,000 Plus For Jewish Victims of Tree of Life Shooting
After eleven members of a Jewish synagogue in Pennsylvania were killed in a mass shooting, two crowdfunding campaigns initiated by Muslims raised almost $1 million for victims.
Two Muslim crowdfunding campaigns have raised over $750,000 for victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that took place in Pittsburgh last Saturday. One campaign was launched on the Muslim crowdfunding site, LaunchGood, while the other was on GoFundMe.
Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim-American speaker and founder of nonprofit CelebrateMercy initiated the fundraising campaign on LaunchGood. According to their website, LaunchGood “is a global crowdfunding platform to support Muslims Launching good all across the world by helping them raise funds for their campaigns.”
The LaunchGood campaign’s objective is to help the shooting victims, “whether it is the injured victims or the Jewish families who have lost loved ones”. The campaign’s initial goal was to raise $25,000 for the Jewish victims but the fund was fulfilled in six hours. The campaign has since raised $129,000 and has a new target of $150,000. The first $25,000 was transferred to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh on Monday to “immediately begin disbursing help to the families.” The campaign thanked everyone for contributing including the 25 percent who have donated who are not Muslim.
GoFundMe Campaign Sets Target at $1,000,000
In a separate crowdfunding effort, a Muslim Iranian living in Washington DC, Shay Khatiri, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $100,000, but the campaign generated over $247,000 in a few hours. Khatiri has upped the goal to $1m and as of Monday morning, the campaign had raised over $640,000.
According to the GoFundMe’s campaign page, the fundraiser is “meant to help the congregation with the physical damages to the building, as well as the survivors and the victims’ families.”
The campaign is also a GoFundMe Certified Charity campaign, which means that “money is processed by GoFundMe’s nonprofit partner PayPal Giving Fund, and funds are sent directly to the Tree of Life Congregation.” Khatiri, as the campaign organizer, “cannot access or manage any of the donations or disbursements. GoFundMe is in contact with and supporting the synagogue throughout this process,” as is stated on the campaign’s page.
As Khatiri’s Go Fund Me campaign says, you can also donate directly to The Tree of Life synagogue via their website.
The gunman, Robert Bowers, has been arrested and charged with 29 offenses including hate crimes for killing 11 people and wounding six others. The dead are all members of the Tree of Life Synagogue and include married couple Bernice and Sylvan Simon, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, Rose Mallinger, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger. David Rosenthal at 54 was the youngest and Rose Mallinger was the oldest at 97.