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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The first three of eleven funerals for the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue will happen Tuesday. They include two brothers with intellectual disabilities, who were extremely devout in their faith and active in their community, and a beloved family doctor with strong ties to the Philadelphia area.
“We will rebuild and we will be stronger cause we are a tree of life, we are not a tree of death,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Myers.
Rabbi Myers helped several members of his Tree of Life congregation get to safety. He will hold funerals for seven of them. The funeral for brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal, 54 and 59, will be held at the synagogue at 10 a.m.
“We will honor them in some way that distinguishes them to get beyond this atrocious act,” said Barton Schachter, former Tree of Life Synagogue president.
One of the victims, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, completed both his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. He will also be laid to rest today after his funeral at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.
“We are moved by the outpouring of support and tributes to Dr. Rabinowitz as an exceptionally talented and caring physician. These stories capture the positive impact that Dr. Rabinowitz has had on his patients and community and illuminate the lasting legacy of his life and work. The Perelman School of Medicine joins Dr. Rabinowitz’s family, his patients, and his community in mourning his untimely and tragic death,” said Dr. J. Larry Jameson, the dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at UPenn.
“It became very personal because I knew Jerry,” said Robert Goodman.
Goodman is one of more than 100 who came to M’kor Shalom synagogue in Cherry Hill Monday night for a vigil. He grew up with Rabinowitz.
“Jerry and I went to grammar school together so we were childhood friends and we went for a couple of years to high school together,” Goodman said.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit Pittsburgh today to pay their respects and meet the injured first responders. But some members of the Jewish community said the president’s rhetoric is partly to blame. Still, leaders of the Tree of Life Synagogue welcomed the president’s visit.
Robert Bowers, 46, the suspect in the attack, was in court Monday, where he heard the 29 federal charges he now faces. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty. Bowers will be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will outline their case against him.