The victims in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania include a husband and wife and two brothers. The victims were all elderly parishioners, who range in age from 54 to 97 years of age.
The husband and wife, Sylvan and Bernice Simon, were married at the same synagogue decades ago.
Their names are now known, and their bios reveal them to be beloved members of their community and families. The photo collage above shows victims, from left and clockwise, Daniel Stein, Cecil Rosenthal, and Joyce Fienberg (she's pictured with her husband, who died several years ago).
You can read bios for each victim (and see photos as their information is learned) by clicking through at the photo on the top of this page or at the prompt at the bottom of this page.
This gallery includes a tribute to each victim with biographical information to commemorate their lives (including a bio on one man who survived). See all of the victims' names later on this page, along with their ages and hometowns.
The victims include Daniel Stein, a new grandfather known for his sense of humor and love of family. They also include Jerry Rabinowitz, a well-liked doctor who was described by one woman who knew him on Facebook as “a doctor, a cat lover, and the kindest person you could dream of meeting.” Cecil and David Rosenthal were brothers. Sylvan and Bernice Simon were spouses. Richard Gottfried was a local dentist.
17 People Were Wounded in All & 11 People Have Died
The gunman, who left behind a social media account replete with writings filled with anti-Semitism, burst inside and opened fire. By the time it was over, 11 people were dead and an additional six people were injured.
Scott Brady, US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said on October 28, 2018, “This was an attack upon our neighbors and upon our friends and one we felt very deeply.”
“A place of worship is a sacred place. It’s a place of peace, and it’s a place of grace. This is our first freedom as a people. Today we stand together,” Brady said.
On October 28, 2018, authorities released the names of all of the victims who have died.
Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland, City of Pittsburgh
Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township
Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough
Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill
His brother, David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill
Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg
Her husband, Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg
Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh
Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh
Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington, City of Pittsburgh
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the victims. You can access it here. Katherine Cichy, a spokeswoman for GoFundme, told Heavy of the GoFundMe account: “Yes, it’s verified. This is a certified charity campaign, which means all money raised will be transferred directly to the Tree of Life Congregation.”
If you’re uncomfortable giving through GoFundMe, you could donation directly to the congregation here.
People who donated offered strong support for the community, victims, and their families. "Thinking of you all.....love and light coming you way," wrote one woman on the GoFundMe page. "As a resident of Squirrel Hill, I'm shaken to my core and absolutely horrified. The Jewish community makes this neighborhood what it is -- a wonderful, safe, loving, family-friendly place. I extend my love and my support to my Jewish neighbors, my fellow human beings," wrote another woman. The community immediately gathered for vigils in remembrance of the victims.
According to CNN, the wounded but living victims are: A 61-year-old woman; a 70-year-old man; and four male law enforcement officers. Two of them are ages 55 and 27. One of the officers and the 70-year-old man were in critical condition in the early evening of October 27, 2018.
The synagogue’s about us section explains, “Tree of Life Congregation was founded more than 150 years ago, Or L’Simcha about 5 years ago. In 2010, the two Pittsburgh congregations merged to form Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha. As a conservative Jewish congregation, Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha remains true to traditional teachings, yet is also progressive and relevant to the way we live today. From our warm, inviting and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to our fun adult, children and family programs, it’s the perfect environment to grow a strong faith rooted in tradition.”
The man accused of perpetrating the mass shooting is alive and in custody; he allegedly left behind a trail of anti-Semitic writings on a social media site called Gab. Some of his posts criticized a group that helps Jewish immigrants called HIAS. The website of HIAS describes it as an organization that was “founded in 1881 originally to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, HIAS has touched the life of nearly every Jewish family in America and now welcomes all who have fled persecution.”