MOVING KIDDUSH HASHEM: Surfside Mayor Describes 12 Year Old Frum Girl Davening By Rubble [SEE THE VIDEO]

Search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., Sunday, June 27, 2021. The apartment building partially collapsed on Thursday, June 24. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

The mayor of Surfside, Florida, described a chance meeting with a 12-year-old girl at the Champlain Towers South collapse site Sunday night that “hit me the hardest.”

“Last night, when I did my late night pass at the building there was little girl. She’s about 12 years old and she was sitting by herself,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday.

Burkett said he knew the little girl from a previous encounter and understood that either her mother or father was a victim of the Surfside collapse. Burkett said he found her sitting near the rubble pile scrolling through prayers on her cell phone “all by herself.”

“She was reading a Jewish prayer to herself, sitting at the site, by where one of her parents presumably is,” the mayor said.

“And that broke my heart. And I’m going to find that girl today and I’m going to tell her that she just needs to come to me for anything she needs because that’s the face of this problem, of this disaster right here – that little girl,” Burkett said. “By herself, completely lost, sitting there, on the deck, looking at the pile of rubble imaging one of her parents is in there. That should never happen.”


  1. How that mayor wasn’t choked-up as he described the event just goes to show how beautifully Hashem’s nation is – I was crying as he retold the story. I’m sure everyone else who listened was too. How we just love and care so much for every singly Kew no matter the stripe or affiliation – a Jew is a Jew is a Jew! We are one!

  2. Praying to herself, he said.
    That’s the problem today!
    She was praying to G-d and only G-d can help us find the people in the rubble.

  3. So sad to live amongst people that even in the worst of times dont get anything!!!! Yes she did know what to say and Who to say it to!! What a completely blind and ridiculous observation. She was doing the best thing she could do — talking Hashem.

  4. Please. That’s NOT what he said. He said she was READING a prayer to herself. NOT PRAYING TO HERSELF! Not his fault you don’t speak English.

  5. Klal Yisroel is crying out for all those families waiting for the faith of their loved ones. We wish we had tzadikim who can guide us through those horrible tragedies Meron, Stolin,Miami .hashem is demanding something specific because all tragedies were the same by being crushed.
    השיבינו השם אליך ונשובה

  6. Jews and non-Jews helping and caring about each other like this is remarkable. Has there ever been a period like this in history?!

  7. “Reading a Jewish prayer to herself”

    This is an American expression meaning that she was reading it quietly, alone. Don’t read so deeply into everything, looking for trouble where it isn’t.