Remembering the Lives Lost in Tree of Life Synagogue

by Drew Ward

The United States has seen an unprecedented amount of mass shootings this year at 297. The latest mass shooting occurred last week, October 27, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It occurred at a Jewish synagogue during a Shabbat service.  The shooter entered the synagogue and opened fire, resulting in 11 deaths. The shooter said that he targeted the synagogue because he hates Jews. 

The eleven people gunned down all had a life, a name, and a story.

Two of the eleven people were brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal. According to a CNN report, the two brothers were always at the synagogue. They greeted everyone as they walked in and had smiles and joy that was contagious.

Irving Younger was another greeter of the synagogue and his love was noticed by everyone. He showed people were to sit and helped them get out in a timely manner.

Rose Mallinger, a 97-year-old woman who was bubbly and lived for her family, was unfortunately killed as well.

Bernice and Sylvan Simon were two people who were madly in love. Married for over 60 years, the two spent every Sunday at the synagogue and the people there looked up to them for what they aspired for in a marriage.

Jerry Rabinowitz was a primary care physician who touched the lives of many outside the synagogue. His love was shown in the way he treated others. In the early days of HIV treatment, he would hold patients hands and pray for them.

Joyce Fienberg and Richard Gottfried were two outstanding members of the community. Fienberg was a professor and Gottfried had a business that counseled couples.  

Melvin Wax was a passionate Pirates fan and a huge influence in the synagogue. People were amazed and inspired by his commitment.

Daniel Stein was a simple man who did not require much but he spread joy, his family said.

These people deserve to have their story told. The unfortunate event that took place will be mourned. However, celebrating these people’s lives and their contributions in the world will shine love and light into a dark, hate-filled situation.


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