Officials identify Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims

PITTSBURGH – Eleven lives abruptly ended on Saturday when a gunman stormed the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s historic Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

On Sunday, Karl Williams, Allegheny County’s chief medical examiner, released the victims’ identities in a news conference.

Among those killed were a pair of brothers and a married couple. The oldest was 97 years old, and the youngest 54.

“To the victims’ families, to the victims’ friends, we’re here as a community of one for you,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “We will be here to help you through this horrific episode. We’ll get through this darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history by working together.”

Here are the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting:

Jerry Rabinowitz

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, came from Edgewood Borough, Pennsylvania, authorities said.

Susan Blackman knew Rabinowitz for at least 35 years, she told CNN. He was her family doctor and cared for her three children. She went to see Rabinowitz every quarter.

Rabinowitz was a funny man, Blackman said, and was always accessible if she had a question or began to worry about her health. He could always put her at ease.

“He was like a member of the family, and a member of the extended family,” she said. “Like somebody you know that’s always part of your community. … Dr. Jerry was just somebody who, when you see him, your eyes light up.”

“I can’t imagine the world without him,” she said.

Brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal

Cecil and David Rosenthal, 59 and 54, were from Squirrel Hill.

The brothers always sat in the back of the temple and greeted people as they came in to worship, according to Suzan Hauptman, who told CNN she grew up at Tree of Life synagogue.

“They were like the ambassadors because they were always there,” she said. “And they will always be there in our hearts.”

Laura Berman, the cantor of Temple Sinai, said Cecil was a “beautiful man” and a “sweet, gentle soul.”

Growing up, she and Cecil attended the same congregation, she said. A week after 9/11, she came back to Tree of Life and reconnected with Cecil, and it reminded her of home.

“The kindest soul you would ever meet,” she said. “A smiling face. He was one of those embodiments of the community. Just open, warm, smiling, wanting to help and just in his beautiful simplicity. That’s who he was.”

The other victims were identified as:

  • Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland neighborhood, Pittsburgh
  • Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township, Pennsylvania
  • Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill neighborhood, Pittsburgh
  • Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86, a married couple from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh
  • Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh
  • Irving Younger, 69, of Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood

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