Tree of Life rabbi honored for bravery, heroism
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.”
“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].