Pittsburgh Jewish Day School Aide and Sister Killed by Single Bullets in Home

Susan and Sarah Wolfe Found Shot Dead in Basement

Susan and Sarah Wolfe were found shot in the basement of their home in Pittsburgh.
google street view
Susan and Sarah Wolfe were found shot in the basement of their home in Pittsburgh.

By Forward Staff

Published February 09, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A teacher’s aide at a Pittsburgh Jewish day school area and her pediatrician sister were murdered in their home by single gunshots to their heads, authorities said Sunday.

Susan Wolfe, 44, who worked at Hillel Academy in the upscale Squirrel Hill neighborhood and her sister, Sarah Wolfe, 38, had “other injuries” but those injuries did not contribute to the women’s deaths, Allegheny County medical examiner Dr. Karl Williams told reporters, without elaborating.

He would not say whether the women were sexually assaulted.

UPDATE: Robbers targeted home of slain Jewish day school teacher

The bodies of the two women were found Friday afternoon in the basement of their two-story home in East Liberty, Pa. There were no signs of forced entry, police said.

Police checked the home after a co-worker of Susan Wolfe asked them to check when she did not show up for work, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Sarah Wolfe worked as a pediatrician and psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Sarah Wolfe
Sarah Wolfe

Sarah Wolfe’s car was found Saturday morning, about a mile from the home.

The women have six other siblings, including Iowa state representative Mary Wolfe.

The sisters grew up in Clinton, Iowa, where their father started a prominent law office, according to the WCF Gazette newspaper. The big family was struggling to make sense of the killings.

“Right this minute we’re still trying to figure out what happened,” Mary Wolfe told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They were both incredible people, and we would like their friends and colleagues to know a little bit more about them and how much we appreciate their thoughts and wishes.”

Susan Wolfe moved to Pittsburgh about four months ago, Dori Oshlag, director of the Hillel Academy said.

“I think her genuine nature of being outgoing, positive would just make her be that type of genuine person that would want to help someone and trust someone,” Oshlag told the Post-Gazette. “It’s that nature, perhaps, of being raised in the Midwest, and just approaching everyone with a smile.”

“She was really great,” Sam Weinberg, another Hillel Academy official, told the local CBS news affiiliate. “I mean, all the kids loved her. They’re going to miss her. She was a really great teacher, very devoted. She cared a lot about her job.”

Sarah Wolfe also worked at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, where she had a sterling reputation.

“She was known as a very compassionate, warm, caring and bright physician who was praised by patients, families, staff and colleagues,” Dr. Claudia M. Roth, president and CEO of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, said in a statement.

With JTA


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!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • 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.