Tree of Life rabbi honored for bravery, heroism |

Tree of Life rabbi honored for bravery, heroism

Paul Guggenheimer
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers removes the Torah from the Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. Eleven people were shot an killed at the synagogue on Saturday.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers greets Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers grabbed three people nearest him and hustled them to safety during the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

He called 911 and told the person on the other end of the call that there was an active shooter in the building.

For his actions during the Oct. 27 mass shooting, Myers was honored this week with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Medal of Valor.

Myers said the text on the medal reads: “He who saves a single life, it is as if he has saved an entire world.”

Eleven people were killed during the shooting.

“It’s a well-known adage found in the Talmud,” said Myers. “I humbly accept it in memory of the 11 beautiful souls who lost their lives.”

The center is named after the legendary hunter of Nazi war criminals Simon Wiesenthal. Myers was among three “outstanding individuals, who honor mankind and whose courage and bravery shine a light in the darkest of places,” a press release said.

“I’m certainly very honored and humbled that they feel I was deserving of an award,” said Myers. “I don’t feel I was deserving of any award, but they felt that I was. Simon Wiesenthal is a significant name for the entire world. That an institution like that would want to reach out and honor me is tremendous, amazing and yet humbling.”

The awards ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Other Medal of Valor recipients included resistance hero Kurt Kleinman and immigrant rights activist Florence Phillips. Disney CEO Robert A. Iger received the center’s 2019 Humanitarian Award.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel served as the master of ceremonies.

Myers was informed in December that he would be receiving the award.

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.