Authorities release names of 11 victims in Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting

October 29, 2018 by JNS
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Authorities released the names of the victims of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday that killed 11 people.

ZAKA search-and-rescue USA volunteers work with the FBI at the scene of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. Credit: ZAKA Search and Rescue USA.

Many of the victims were at the synagogue to celebrate a brit milah (“baby naming”) at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a historic Jewish neighbourhood in the city, while others were attending weekly Shabbat services.

Among the victims were two brothers, an elderly husband and wife, as well as a woman approaching 100. They were announced on Sunday morning by Pittsburgh chief medical examiner Karl Williams, who called on people to respect the families’ privacy.

“The families are in shock and grieving, please be respectful of their needs, their time and space as they deal with this tragedy,” he said.

Those killed were Daniel Stein, 71; Joyce Feinberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59; and David Rosenthal, 54; husband and wife Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.

At the press conference announcing the release of the names, Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto, said that the Jewish community is the “backbone” of the city.

“It is part of the fabric of Pittsburgh and we will be there in all communities to help our friends in the Jewish community. We’ve been knocked down before but we’ve always been able to stand up because we work together.”

“We know that we as a society are better than this,” he said. “We know that hate will never win out.”

Jeff Finkelstein, president and CEO of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation, also said at the press conference that “this is an awful, awful period for our Jewish community, and especially for the families that have been affected, and it’s real once you hear the names.”

“We’ll be there for them and be there to help our Jewish community and the Pittsburgh region heal from this,” he said.


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