The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has disputed President Joe Biden’s claim of having visited with Jewish leaders following the horrific massacre in October 2018.
Known as the deadliest attack in history against American Jews, 11 people were killed nearly three years ago when a lone gunman opened fire during the synagogue’s Shabbat morning service. The suspect was an admitted and avowed antisemite. Following the attack, then-President Donald Trump visited the site to pay his respects and personally met with the synagogue’s rabbi, Jeffrey Myers, who said the president exhibited a ‘warm and personal side’ unseen by the public.
Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers on President Trump's Pittsburgh visit: “I was pleasantly surprised by a warm and personal side to the President that I don’t think America has ever seen” pic.twitter.com/Jzpk3J1KBS
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 1, 2018
On Thursday, during a virtual address ahead of the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, President Biden claimed he also visited the Tree of Life synagogue following the attack — a claim the synagogue now disputes.
“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” Biden said, as reported by the New York Post.
However, the synagogue’s executive director, Barb Feige, says that visit never happened.
“In a phone interview, Feige, executive director since July 2019, said firmly that ‘no’ Biden didn’t visit, even before taking office when he had a lower public profile as a former vice president and then-Democratic presidential candidate,” reported the New York Post.
The White House did not respond to the Post’s request for comment. Last year, on the second anniversary of the attack, Biden said, “When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul.”