Associated Press Breaking By CLAUDIA LAUER Crime General news JENNIFER PELTZ and MARYCLAIRE DALE National North America Pennsylvania Pittsburgh religion Religious issues Religious strife Shootings Social affairs Social issues United States Violent crime

Shooting victims remembered: ‘The loss is incalculable’

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Flowers sit at a makeshift memorial on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Robert Bowers, the suspect in Saturday’s mass capturing on the synagogue, expressed hatred of Jews in the course of the rampage and informed officers afterward that Jews have been committing genocide and he needed all of them to die, based on charging paperwork made public Sunday. (AP Photograph/Matt Rourke)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — They have been professors and accountants, dentists and beloved docs serving their area people.

A day after the capturing at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 lifeless, officers launched the names of the victims. The oldest of them was 97. The youngest was 54. They included a pair of brothers and a husband and spouse.

Stated Stephen Cohen, co-president of New Mild Congregation: “The loss is incalculable.”


Cecil and David Rosenthal went by means of life along with assist from a disability-services group. And an necessary a part of the brothers’ lives was the Tree of Life synagogue, the place they by no means missed a Saturday’s providers, individuals who knew them say.

“If they were here, they would tell you that is where they were supposed to be,” Chris Schopf, a vice chairman of the group ACHIEVA, stated in a press release.

Achieva offers assist with day by day dwelling, employment and different wants, and the group had labored for years with Cecil, 59, and David, 54, who have been among the many 11 killed in Saturday’s lethal capturing. They lived semi-independently, and Cecil was an individual who was up for all types of actions: a live performance, lunch at Eat ‘n Park — a regional restaurant chain recognized for its smiley-face cookies — even a visit to the Duquesne College eating corridor, recollects David DeFelice, a Duquesne senior who was paired with him in a buddies program.

“He was a very gregarious person — loved being social, loved people. … You could put him any situation, and he’d make it work,” chatting concerning the climate or asking college students about their mother and father and speaking about his personal, says DeFelice.

And when DeFelice acknowledged Hebrew letters on Cecil’s calendar, the elder man was delighted to study that his buddy was additionally Jewish and shortly invited him to Tree of Life. DeFelice joined him on a few events and will see that Cecil cherished his religion and the sense of group he discovered at temple.

Emeritus Rabbi Alvin Berkun noticed that, too, in Cecil and David.

“They really found a home at the synagogue, and people reciprocated,” he stated.

Cecil carried a photograph in his pockets of David, whom Schopf remembers as a person with “such a gentle spirit.”

“Together, they looked out for each other,” she stated. “Most of all, they were kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around.”

The 2 left an impression on state Rep. David Frankel, who typically attends providers at Tree of Life and whose chief of employees is the Rosenthals’ sister.

“They were very sweet, gentle, caring men,” Frankel stated. “… I know that this community will really mourn their loss because they were such special people.”


Melvin Wax was the primary to reach at New Mild Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood — and the final to go away.

Wax, who was in his late 80s, was amongst these killed when a gunman entered the synagogue Saturday and opened hearth throughout Sabbath providers. Fellow members of the congregation, which rented area within the decrease degree of the Tree of Life Synagogue, says Wax was a sort man and a pillar of the congregation, filling nearly each position besides cantor.

Myron Snider spoke late Saturday about his pal who would keep late to inform jokes with him. He stated “Mel,” a retired accountant, was unfailingly beneficiant.

“He was such a kind, kind person,” stated Snider, chairman of the congregation’s cemetery committee. “When my daughters have been youthful, they might go to him, and he would assist them with their federal revenue tax yearly. By no means charged them.

“He and I used to, at the end of services, try to tell a joke or two to each other. Most of the time they were clean jokes. Most of the time. I won’t say all the time. But most of the time.”

New Mild moved to the Tree of Life constructing a few yr in the past, when the congregation of about 100 principally older members might not afford its personal area, stated administrative assistant Marilyn Honigsberg. She stated Wax, who misplaced his spouse Sandra in 2016, was all the time there when providers started at 9:45 a.m.

“I know a few of the people who are always there that early, and he is one of them,” she stated.

Snider stated Wax, who was barely exhausting of listening to, was a pillar of the congregation, filling nearly each position besides cantor.

“He went Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, when there were Sunday services,” stated Snider, a retired pharmacist. “If somebody didn’t come that was supposed to lead services, he could lead the services and do everything. He knew how to do everything at the synagogue. He was really a very learned person.”

Snider had simply been launched from a six-week hospital keep for pneumonia and was not at Saturday’s providers.

“He called my wife to get my phone number in the hospital so he could talk to me,” Snider stated. “Just a sweet, sweet guy.”


Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz and his associate in his medical follow have been seemingly destined to spend their skilled lives collectively.

He and Dr. Kenneth Ciesielka had been pals with Rabinowitz for greater than 30 years, since they lived on the identical flooring on the College of Pennsylvania. Ciesielka was a number of years behind Rabinowitz, however whether or not by destiny or design, the 2 all the time ended up collectively. They went to the identical school, the identical medical faculty and even had the identical residency at UPMC a couple of years aside.

“He is one of the finest people I’ve ever met. We’ve been in practice together for 30 years and friends longer than that,” Ciesielka stated. “His patients are going to miss him terribly. His family is going to miss him terribly and I am going to miss him. He was just one of the kindest, finest people.”

Former Allegheny County Deputy District Lawyer Regulation Claus remembered Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old private doctor and sufferer in Saturday’s capturing, as greater than a doctor for him and his household for the final three many years.

“He was truly a trusted confidant and healer,” he wrote in an e mail to his former co-workers on Sunday. “Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz … could always be counted upon to provide sage advice whenever he was consulted on medical matters, usually providing that advice with a touch of genuine humor. He had a truly uplifting demeanor, and as a practicing physician he was among the very best.”

Rabinowitz, a household practitioner at UPMC Shadyside, was remembered by UPMC as one among its “kindest physicians.” The hospital stated in a press release that “the UPMC family, in particular UPMC Shadyside, cannot even begin to express the sadness and grief we feel over the loss.”

“Those of us who worked with him respected and admired his devotion to his work and faith. His loss is devastating,” Tami Minnier, UPMC chief high quality officer, wrote in a press release on Twitter.


Joyce Fienberg and her late husband, Stephen, have been mental energy homes, however those that knew them say they have been the type of people that used that mind to assist others.

Fienberg was among the many 11 victims of a gunman who entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday and opened hearth.

The 74-year-old spent most of her profession on the College of Pittsburgh’s Studying Analysis and Improvement Middle, retiring in 2008 from her job as a researcher taking a look at studying within the classroom and in museums. She labored on a number of tasks together with learning the practices of extremely efficient academics.

Dr. Gaea Leinhardt, who was Fienberg’s analysis associate for many years, stated she is devastated by the homicide of her colleague and pal.

“Joyce was a magnificent, generous, caring, and profoundly thoughtful human being,” she stated.

Stephen, who died in 2016 after a battle with most cancers, was a famend professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon College. His work was utilized in shaping nationwide insurance policies in forensic science, schooling and felony justice.

The couple married in 1965 and had moved to Pittsburgh within the early 1980s. Joyce started her work on the middle in 1983. The couple had two sons and a number of other grandchildren.


Daniel Stein was a visual member of Pittsburgh’s Jewish group, the place he was a pacesetter within the New Mild Congregation and his spouse, Sharyn, is the membership vice chairman of the world’s Hadassah chapter.

“Their Judaism is very important to them, and to him,” stated chapter co-president Nancy Shuman. “Both of them were very passionate about the community and Israel.”

Stein, 71, was president of the Males’s Membership at Tree of Life. He additionally was amongst a corps of the New Mild members who, together with Wax and Richard Gottfried, 65, made up “the religious heart” of the congregation, Cohen, the congregation co-president, stated.

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

Together with his beneficiant spirit and dry humorousness, “he was somebody that everybody liked,” Halle stated.


Richard Gottfried was getting ready for a brand new chapter in his life.

Gottfried ran a dental workplace together with his spouse and apply companion Margaret “Peg” Durachko Gottfried. The dentist, who a number of have famous typically did charity work seeing sufferers who couldn’t in any other case afford dental care, was getting ready to retire within the subsequent few months.

He, together with Wax and Stein, “led the service, they maintained the Torah, they did what needed to be done with the rabbi to make services happen,” Cohen stated


Lauer reported from Philadelphia, Peltz reported from New York and Dale reported from Pittsburgh. Related Press reporters Allen G. Breed in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Robert Bumsted in Pittsburgh contributed to this story.

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