Remembering the Doctor Killed When He Rushed to Help Others in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Haaretz.com, Dina Kraft
Oct 29, 2018 2:42 AM
'He had a moral compass stronger than anyone I have ever known,' colleague says of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz.
As the sounds of what turned out to be a shooter opening fire on a group of Jews in prayer thundered through Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning, a family doctor named Jerry Rabinowitz rushed toward the noise to go help, according to his nephew and a friend.
On Sunday, Rabinowitz’s name was announced on the list of 11 men and women killed in the 20-minute shooting spree by suspected gunman Robert Bowers. Armed with an AR-15-style rifle and three handguns, Bowers had told a SWAT team he wanted "all Jews to die.”
Rabinowitz is remembered as a deeply caring physician and friend, easily recognizable with his trademark bow tie and smiling face, and one of the first doctors in Pittsburgh to treat HIV-positive patients. He was a leader of Dor Hadash, a Reconstructionist congregation that met in the synagogue (one of three different congregations that hold services in the building).
The congregation that was the main focus of Saturday's attack was holding services in one part of the building, while Dor Hadash met in a separate section at the same time.