Jewish Community Consoles Rampage Victims

Fears One Victim in Newtown Shooting Could Be Jewish

Unspeakable Grief: Heartbroken parents gather in Newtown, Conn., as word spread about the mass shooting.
getty images
Unspeakable Grief: Heartbroken parents gather in Newtown, Conn., as word spread about the mass shooting.

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 14, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rabbi Shaul Praver of the local congregation Adath Israel was among the leaders in Newtown, Conn., who rushed to console victims of one of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Praver rushed to console families and children gathered at the city’s firehouse hours after the school shooting, which left 27 dead including the suspect.

Many of those attending were parents whose children had been killed in the attack or who were still waiting to hear word about their condition after being taken to the hospital.

“What you have to do is hug them and just be with them and cry with them,” Rabbi Praver told CNN in a phone interview from the firehouse. “There’s no theological answer to this.”

Asked whether there were members of his congregation among those impacted by the attack, Rabbi Praver said he fears for the life of one child who has yet to be accounted for.

“As we light candles for the seventh night of Hanukkah and for Shabbat, our hearts are heavy with the tragic news,” Shelly Katz, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, headquartered in neighboring Southbury, wrote in a letter to the local community.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)said he and his wife, Hadassah, were “shocked and heartbroken” by the rampage.

In a statement, Lieberman said he and his wife “know this community and its people well. It is a beautiful town with wonderful people. As parents and grandparents, our hearts grieve for them today, and we send our prayers to each of them.”

The Reform movement issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened by the tragedy. It pointed out that the gun used by the killer would have been banned under the expired Assault Weapons Ban.

“This horror reinforces the need to ensure that common-sense gun control laws are in place to help reduce these incidents,” said Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

In nearby Ridgefield, Conn., Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer told the Huffington Post that his congregation at Temple Shearith Israel will dedicate memorial prayers Friday night to victims.

“Right now, we pray for healing. Healing of those families who lost loved ones and those who lost children. And we pray for healing in our world of these kinds of tragedies,” he said. “Our memorial tonight will be for all of those who are lost, to remember them, but it is also Hanukkah, and we will light a menorah. It’s a symbol of light and hope for the future.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.