Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Named, Remembered [VIDEO]

Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Named, Remembered [VIDEO]

Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Named, Remembered [VIDEO]

The names of the victims at the Tree of Life Synagogue were released this morning by the authorities. While the name of their cowardly murderer should be stricken out and never said again, these eleven names should stay with us always.

A large, coordinated press conference was given this morning, which released a lot of new information about the ongoing investigation. At the beginning of the press conference, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady announced that the suspect would be charged with 29 separate federal crimes. The chief of police updated the status of his four wounded officers: one was released from the hospital yesterday, one is soon to be released, the other two are still hospitalized. The medical examiner had the sad task of announcing the names of the dead.

These names represented eleven people who were much beloved in their community and their families.

The 11 people killed in the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh included a married couple, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, and two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal.

The Allegheny County medical examiners’ office released the victims’ names Sunday. David Rosenthal was the youngest at 54. The eldest was 97-year-old Rose Mallinger.

The dead also included Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.

Fellow members of the New Light Congregation say Wax was a pillar of the congregation, filling many roles there. Friend Myron Snider says Wax was a retired accountant who was unfailingly generous.

Former Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Law Claus sent an email to his former coworkers Sunday asking them to pass along his condolences to the family of Jerry Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old personal physician.

Claus says Rabinowitz was more than a physician for him and his family for the past three decades, saying, “he was truly a trusted confidant and healer.”

He says Rabinowitz had an uplifting demeanor and would provide sage advice.

Joyce Fienberg and her late husband, Stephen, were intellectual powerhouses, but those who knew them say they were the kind of people who used that intellect to help others.

Joyce Fienberg was among the 11 victims of a gunman who opened fire inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday.

The 74-year-old spent most of her career at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center. She retired in 2008 from her job as a researcher looking at learning in the classroom and in museums. She worked on several projects, including studying the practices of highly effective teachers.

Dr. Gaea Leinhardt, who was Fienberg’s research partner for decades, says she is devastated by the murder of her colleague and friend.

Leinhardt says, “Joyce was a magnificent, generous, caring, and profoundly thoughtful human being.”

Daniel Stein, who was among the 11 people shot dead inside Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue Saturday, was a very visible member of the city’s Jewish community as a leader in the New Light Congregation.

The co-president of the area’s Hadassah chapter, Nancy Shuman, says Judaism was very important to the 71-year-old Stein. His wife, Sharyn, is the chapter’s membership vice president.

Shuman says, “Both of them were very passionate about the community and Israel.”

Stein’s nephew Steven Halle told the Tribune-Review that his uncle “was always willing to help anybody.”

Halle says Stein “was somebody that everybody liked.”

Richard Gottfried was a devoted member of the New Light Congregation, going to the synagogue every Saturday morning without fail…. Stephen Cohen, the co-president of New Light, says Gottfried and another member who was also killed Saturday were the “religious heart of our congregation.”

“They led the service, they maintained the Torah, they did what needed to be done with the rabbi to make services happen,” Cohen said.

The 65-year-old Gottfried was also preparing for a new chapter in his life. The dentist, who often did charity work seeing patients who could not afford dental care normally, was preparing to retire in the next few months.

Gottfried ran a dental office with his wife, Peg Durachko.

Two brothers killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting were an inseparable, warm-hearted pair who never missed Saturday services.

That’s according to ACHIEVA, an organization that provides services to people with disabilities and had worked with Cecil and David Rosenthal for years.

ACHIEVA Vice President Chris Schopf recalls 59-year-old Cecil’s infectious laugh and 54-year-old David’s gentle spirit. Schopf says the two “looked out for one another” and were “kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around.”

Their sister is chief of staff to state Rep. Dan Frankel, who recalls seeing the brothers at Tree of Life whenever he went there.

He calls them “very sweet, gentle, caring men.”

While initial reports referred to the oldest victim, 97 year old Rose Mallinger, as a Holocaust survivor, following reports have clarified that she was not. It doesn’t make her murder any easier.

Rose Mallinger may have been 97 years old, but she was still “spry” and “vibrant,” said Tree of Life member Robin Friedman.

“She had a lot of years left,” Friedman told CNN.

Mallinger was the oldest victim in the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. She had been a secretary at the synagogue’s school office decades ago, and she regularly attended Tree of Life services with her daughter.

“She was just the sweetest. A lovely lady,” Friedman said. “She had to know everybody there, (whether) old, young. Always a hello, always a hug, always a smile.”

Mallinger’s daughter was among the injured, according to reports, as she was shot in the arm.

The families of these eleven victims are understandably reeling from their loved ones’ senseless murders. I cannot even imagine the pain of the Simon family or the Rosenthal family, who each lost two family members in this shooting. These families need our prayers going forward. May the memories of their loved ones be a blessing.

And as for the suspect? I think Secretary Mattis says it best.

“If there is one person responsible, this individual, I won’t even call him a man, he was (the) poorest excuse for a man you could ever come up with, who would use a weapon in a house of worship on unarmed innocent people,” Mattis told a group of reporters traveling with him to Prague.

“This is a coward and he is not a man by any definition that we use in the Department of Defense,” Mattis said.

Amen to that, Mr. Secretary.

Featured image: Police officers outside Tree of Life Synagogue, October 28, 2018 (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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