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Tree of Life Synagogue Victims Remembered as Guardians of Their Religion

Each week David and Cecil Rosenthal stood in the back of the Tree of Life synagogue. The brothers greeted anybody who walked in with a “Good Shabbos” earlier than providing them a prayer e book opened to the right web page.

“They’ve been fixtures of there for as long as anyone can remember,” Jeffrey Solomon, the chief executive of Cowen, a monetary providers firm in New York, and a lifelong member of the Tree of Life congregation, mentioned of David, 54, and Cecil, 59. “They were what we call ‘shomerim,’ people who guard the religion even for the rest of us who don’t go all the time,” mentioned Mr. Solomon, who is said to the brothers by marriage.

The Rosenthals have been amongst 11 people killed on Saturday when a gunman stormed into the synagogue and opened fireplace. The useless included three ladies and eight males ranging in age from 54 to 97.

Amongst those that perished have been an accountant, a dentist, and a husband and spouse, Bernice and Sylvan Simon of Wilkinsburg, Pa., who have been 84 and 86.

Daniel Stein, 71, who had lately turn out to be a grandfather, lived within the Squirrel Hill neighborhood close to the synagogue; so did Rose Mallinger, 97, and Melvin Wax, 88. Joyce Fienberg, 75, was from Oakland, Pa., Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, lived in Edgewood Borough, and Irving Youthful, 69, in Mt. Washington.

Daniel Stein.

The Rosenthal brothers had developmental disabilities however lived independently. They typically spent their days on the close by Jewish Group Middle, the place they spoke warmly to anybody they met.

“I’ve said this many times, having nothing to do with this tragedy: you can feel what is good in the world when you talk to them, because they only talk to you about good things,” Mr. Solomon mentioned. “To say that everyone in the Pittsburgh Jewish community knows them is not even a remote exaggeration. They were both active participants in so much of life.”

Mr. Solomon mentioned he grew up locally with the brothers, who have been collectively s continually and sometimes spoke joyfully about their prolonged household.

“Today we talk about inclusion, but they were just part of the community, and I didn’t think anything about it,” Mr. Solomon said. “It was my introduction to the fact that there are people like that and they are just like the rest of us.”

“I just can’t even imagine why anyone would want to hurt them,” Mr. Solomon added. “It doesn’t make any sense to me — they didn’t deserve this.”

One other sufferer, Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township, Pa., was remembered as a faithful congregant and a dentist who would serve sufferers who didn’t have insurance coverage or have been underinsured, performing root canals, putting in crowns on enamel, and doing different preventive and restorative work.

“He was very devoted to community and to service,” mentioned Susan Kalson, 59, the chief executive of the Squirrel Hill Well being Middle. “He loved working with our patients, underserved patients, including a lot of refugees and immigrants.”

Mr. Gottfried, described as a quiet, sort and unassuming man, was a dentist within the Pittsburgh space for many years after beginning a non-public follow together with his spouse, additionally a dentist, in 1984. Seven years in the past, he was in search of a option to give again to the group, and began volunteering about as soon as every week on the Squirrel Hill heart, the place he discovered a option to “do for others,” Ms. Kalson mentioned.

She mentioned Mr. Gottfried was deeply dedicated to Judaism. He graduated from College of Pittsburgh in 1974, in accordance with his biography on his dental follow’s web site. Mr. Gottfried and his spouse, who was not Jewish, each volunteered on the heart and have been very shut. They’d no youngsters, Ms. Kalson mentioned, including, “They were just one of those couples that is just so interwoven.”

A 2013 article in a local people journal described Mr. Gottfried’s love for wine, developed after a 1981 journey to Australia, in accordance with the journal. Mr. Gottfried ran wine tastings at a local people heart.

Ms. Kalson mentioned her daughter, who’s lively within the Jewish group there, notified her concerning the taking pictures, which occurred near the place Ms. Kalson lives. As soon as they heard gunman was contained in the Tree of Life, Ms. Kalson began calling and texting to be taught whether or not people she knew have been protected. A textual content from a good friend later within the day instructed her that no one had heard from Mr. Gottfried.

“We will get through this, but this is really devastating,” Ms. Kalson mentioned.

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Updated: October 28, 2018 — 7:50 pm

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