Organized by Tarek El-Messidi

Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue


raised of $150,000 USD goal

5819 supporters, Project Closed

Impact: Pittsburgh, PA

Registered 501(c)(3)

Verification in progress. Learn More

This campaign will collect all funds raised by November 7, 2018 at 5:45 AM EDT

Support Shooting Victims with Short-Term Needs (Funeral Expenses, Medical Bills, Etc)

Muslims Unite to Help Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Victims

  • UPDATE 1 (Oct 27, 9 pm EST): We are overjoyed to reach our $25,000 goal in only six hours. We have just increased the goal to $50,000.
  • UPDATE 2 (Oct 28, 11 am EST): The campaign has gone viral as it begins receiving international media attention (see media stories below). We have now hit our 2nd goal of $50,000, before the 24-hour mark! The campaign has been raising $2,000 every hour! The goal is now $75,000.
  • UPDATE 3 (Oct 28, 10 pm EST): In about 30 hours, we've raised $100K; that's over $3000 per hour! Goal raised to $125K. 
  • UPDATE 4 (Oct 29, 10 AM EST): This morning, we transferred the first installment of funds ($25K) to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh to immediately begin disbursing help to the families. 
  • UPDATE 5 (Oct 29, 12.30 PM EST): We have just increased the goal to $150K and will not increase it again until we assess - with our partners on the ground - if the families' short-term expenses will exceed that amount. We are overwhelmed with how viral the campaign has gone so far. Many of the donors, at least 25%, are not even Muslim; they are Jewish and friends of other faiths. 
  • UPDATE 6 (Oct 29, 6.00 PM EST): We are shocked to have hit yet another milestone of $150,000 within only 50 hours. We are currently assessing whether any more funds are needed for the victims' families, but we are keeping the campaign open. Any leftover proceeds, after disbursing funds to victims' families, will be spent on projects that help foster Muslim-Jewish collaboration, dialogue, and solidarity. Please consider donating to help other victims of a recent hate shooting in Kentucky at this link: Muslims United for Kentucky Hate Victims
  • UPDATE 7 (Oct 30, 3 PM EST): We have transferred the second installment of funds ($25K) to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP). The ICP rep has met with the local Jewish Federation and twice with the funeral home to begin planning fund disbursement to the victims' families. 
  • UPDATE 8 (Thursday, Nov 1, 7 PM EST): As of today, we have transferred a total of $110,000 to ICP to disburse among the victims' families (average funeral costs are $10,000 each). Due to the overwhelming, rapid response to this campaign, we have shortened it to end on Sunday rather than Tuesday. The remaining amount of $40,000 will be transferred by early next week. Please see Update #6 above on how leftover fundraising proceeds will be spent (the funds beyond our final goal of $150,000). 
  • UPDATE 9 (November 20, 12 PM EST): On November 7, we transferred another $45,0000 to ICP (Islamic Center of Pittsburgh). This completes the final transfer of funds - now a total of $155,000 - for ICP to disburse to the victims' families. ICP will manage disbursement of the funds to victims' families. Please see Update #6 above on how leftover fundraising proceeds will be spent. As we decide on long-term projects to fund with those proceeds, we will provide updates on this page. 
  • UPDATE 10 (November 25): We are pleased to report that - on November 21st - the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh gave a $155,000 check to the Tree of Life synagogue (the funds raised by this campaign). Please see this jointly-signed letter acknowledging that 100% of these funds will be disbursed by the synagogue to the victims' families by December 15, 2018.
  • UPDATE 11 (November 28, 2 PM EST): This afternoon, we transferred the additional funds raised ($84,534) to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh for them to deliver to the Tree of Life synagogue. As stated above in Update #6, these additional funds (beyond the $155,000 raised for the victims) will be spent on projects that help foster Jewish-Muslim solidarity, collaboration, and dialogue. 100% of all funds raised - both for the victims and for these collaborative Jewish-Muslim projects - have now been transferred. 
  • UDPATE 11, PART 2 (Nov 28): We are so grateful to have received two letters / receipts from the Tree of Life Synagogue today to acknowledge and thank us for the funds that we granted to them from this campaign. Both letters were signed by the President and Rabbi of the synagogue. Please see those letters here

The Shooting

11 people have been killed in Saturday morning's shooting (October 26) at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Multiple Jewish-Americans, who were attending Saturday morning religious services, have been killed and many more have been injured (including some police officers). 


The Campaign

In a campaign organized by CelebrateMercy and MPower Change, the Muslim-American community extends its hands to help the shooting victims, whether it is the injured victims or the Jewish families who have lost loved ones.

We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will show mercy to you." The Quran also teaches us to "Repel evil by that which is better" (41:34). 

The Funds

Fundraising proceeds will help with the immediate, short-term needs of the injured victims and grieving families - including funeral expenses and medical bills. No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way. The fundraising target will be raised if we quickly hit the initial goal of $25,000 (Update: That initial goal was reached in only 6 hours. We raised the goal a few times until we stopped at $150,000). Please see Update #6 above on how we will use any fundraising proceeds that are raised above the final target of $150.000.

Though this is a Muslim-led campaign, we welcome friends of all faiths to contribute (all donations are tax-deductible). CelebrateMercy will immediately begin transferring funds raised to our local partner on the ground: The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP). ICP will be working directly with the Tree of Life synagogue to distribute funds to affected families. 

We will also be working closely with Pittsburgh's Muslim leaders to help publicize this campaign among their own congregations. All donors to this campaign will receive updates on the progress of fund distribution.

Is It Not A Human Soul?

While these senseless acts have filled us with sorrow, we reflect on the message of unity, tolerance, and mutual protection found in the Constitution of Medina: a historic social contract between the Medinan Jews and the first Muslim community. We are also inspired by the example of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who stood up to pay respects for a passing Jewish funeral procession. When questioned on why he stood for a Jewish funeral, he responded, "Is it not a human soul?" [Source: Bukhari]. 

A Message of Unity

Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate and violence in America. We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event. 

For inquiries, email

Media Coverage

Click the links below:

Your giving amount

Select a Giving Level


    Your share could raise over $77


    Recent supporters

    Kirk Sarell

    $100 USD, 5 years ago

    jane plato

    $25 USD, 5 years ago

    Linda Reiman

    $50 USD, 5 years ago

    Lydia Balogh

    $25 USD, 5 years ago

    Maria Ali

    $10 USD, 5 years ago

    Shafiq Khan

    $101 USD, 5 years ago

    Jill & Michael Stayman

    $50 USD, 5 years ago

    Georgianne Kennedy

    $50 USD, 5 years ago

    Mahmood Alvi

    $10 USD, 5 years ago


    $10 USD, 5 years ago

    Robert L Littles

    $10 USD, 5 years ago

    Mary A Tasillo

    $40 USD, 5 years ago

    Sandra Strauss

    $25 USD, 5 years ago

    An Anonymous kind soul

    $1 USD, 5 years ago

    Agus Z Machmud

    $20 USD, 5 years ago

    Nadia Bajwa

    $50 USD, 5 years ago

    janet moloney

    $27 USD, 5 years ago

    David Dover

    $10 USD, 5 years ago

    Diane A Cohen

    $50 USD, 5 years ago

    Uneeba M

    $10 USD, 5 years ago

    Updates 2

    Tarek El-Messidi2 years ago

    Update: A request (slain Texas teachers)

    Dear Generous Donor,

    In October 2018, you donated to support our CelebrateMercy campaign: Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue. Thank you for being a part of raising over $200,000 to help support the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    I'm part of the CelebrateMercy team and wanted to make sure you heard about our new campaign: raising funds for the families of the fallen teachers in Uvalde, Texas after last week's mass shooting at the elementary school. Last Tuesday, two teachers were killed while attempting to protect their students from gunfire; they left behind 5 children of their own who have now lost a mother and provider. One teacher's husband also just passed away from a heart attack; relatives said that he died of a broken heart only two days after his wife was killed. 

    This campaign met the fundraising goal of $20,000 in less than 20 hours and continues to increase. Though it's a Muslim-led campaign, friends of all faiths are encouraged to support it. See the official flyer below. You can learn more, volunteer and donate here:

    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me back.

    Sending you greetings of peace,

    CelebrateMercy Team
    Tarek El-Messidi5 years ago

    ICYMI: A New Campaign

    Peace be with you all,

    So many of you generously supported our campaign for the shooting victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue. We hope you've stayed connected to the LaunchGood page for that campaign to see the updates on fund distribution (view updates here). 

    CelebrateMercy and Penny Appeal USA just launched a new campaign two days ago that we hope you will consider supporting and sharing. It's an effort to raise funds to help US federal workers and contractors that are suffering from the ongoing Government Shutdown. Though it is a Muslim-led campaign, we welcome people of all faiths to support it. 

    See more below. 

    Tarek El-Messidi
    Founding Director, CelebrateMercy


    Muslims Shutdown Distress
    Help Families of Federal Employees

    The current U.S. government shutdown, now in its 32nd day, has become the longest in United States history. The shutdown is causing financial distress for hundreds of thousands who rely upon the federal government as their main source of income. An estimated 800,000 government employees and 2 million federal contractors are not receiving paychecks. Unfortunately, there are no signs that the shutdown will come to an end anytime soon. 

    Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Many federal workers are sharing stories of desperation; some are selling their wedding rings to pay rent, choosing between buying medicine or paying off utility bills, and some are even struggling with groceries. Read some of those personal stories here and also check out the hashtag #ShutdownStories on Twitter to see many more heart-breaking stories. 

    According to a 2016 survey from, only  37% of Americans have enough savings to pay for an emergency that costs between $500 and $1,000. A Washington Post analysis found that 14 percent of federal workers make less than $50,000 annually. For these workers, missing only one paycheck can have catastrophic impacts.

    The Campaign 

    In a campaign organized by Penny Appeal USA and CelebrateMercy, the Muslim-American community extends its hands to provide some relief to struggling federal workers. 

    We wish to respond to hardship with hope, as our faith teaches us, and send a message of compassion through action - serving our fellow Americans in distress. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven will show mercy to you." He also taught that one should never delay payments to workers for an honest day's work: "Give workers their wages before their sweat dries." [Hadith]

    Please visit the official campaign page, listed below, to learn more and donate. 


    Give with peace of mind

    on LaunchGood

    Every donation is backed by our Trust & Safety guarantee.

    Rigorously vetted

    Each fundraiser is reviewed by our team to ensure they are legitimate.

    Completely secure

    Our encryption and security protocols protect your personal information and financial data.

    Super simple

    We take great care in providing a world-class giving experience.