OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Jewish community mourns the murders of worshipers killed in an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning. Three were American Rabbis and two have a Kansas City connection.
In all, five attack victims have died; four worshipers and one policeman. The victims were killed when two Palestinians wielding butcher knives and guns attacked during morning prayers in a Jerusalem synagogue.
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the rabbis were in the middle of their morning prayers at about 7 a.m. when the attack occurred. According to published reports, the Israeli Police killed the two gunmen in a shootout shortly after the massacre began.
One of the victims grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. Another rabbi killed Tuesday morning has a nephew who teaches at the same school.
Fifty-five-year-old Rabbi Kalman Cary Levine grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Hyman Brand Hebrew academy in 1976. Rabbi Moshe Twersky has a nephew who teaches at the school.
“Throughout his life he had one of the happiest smiles and was somebody who cared about other people,” Alan Edelman said.
Edelman, with the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City said Rabbi Levine was a sweet man and deeply religious, who loved all people and has worked hard to put Orthodox Judaism in a loving light.
“He was involved in an organization that did outreach work to make the average Israeli, who may not even be Orthodox, connect with Judaism and see that Jewish life could be meaningful,” he said.
Edelman says it's hard to believe such a loving man died in such a brutal way. Funerals for the rabbis were held outside the synagogue where they were murdered. Rabbi Levine’s son, also a rabbi, eulogized his father, recounting how his dad loved to read the Torah.