KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — More than 100 people attended a vigil in Kalamazoo Sunday evening to honor the lives lost in the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Jews and non-Jews alike gathered at Congregation of Moses along Stadium Drive the day after 11 people were shot and killed while attending a worship service at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Among the mourners was Jeffrey Haus, a Pittsburgh native.
“I grew up in Tree of Life Synagogue. That’s where I went to Hebrew school. That’s where I had my bar mitzvah. My mother is still a member there,” Haus said.
His mother would have normally been at the synagogue, wasn't in the line of fire Saturday. Haus held back tears as he explained that she was running late.
“She would’ve been there. If he had waited another half hour, she would’ve been there,” he said.
He knows some of the people who were killed.
“One of the women was my mother’s good friend Joyce Fienberg,” Haus told 24 Hour News 8. “The two brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal were special needs adults who basically went to every service at that synagogue for 40 years."
Haus remembered the Rosenthal brothers as “unofficial hosts of the synagogue” because they were always there.
“It’s one of the great ironies that that passion and commitment is what put them in harm’s way and that really shouldn’t happen," he said.