BDE: Jewish Victim Identified Among 17 Dead In Florida High School Massacre


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jamie Guttenberg A”H has been identified as a victim in today’s massacare at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Her parents are Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg.

Their son Jesse, also a student at the school, thankfully made it home.

Another Jewish victim was being treated at a local hospital.

Ben Wikander was shot three times and was undergoing surgery at Broward North.

Ben Wikander, undergoing surgery following mass school shooting

A former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at a Florida high school Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The shooter, who was equipped with a gas mask and smoke grenades, set off a fire alarm to draw students out of classrooms shortly before the day ended at one of the state’s largest schools, officials said.

Authorities offered no immediate details on the 19-year-old suspect or any possible motive, except to say that he had been kicked out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which has about 3,000 students.

Students who knew the shooter, identified as Nikolas Cruz, described a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships with him, particularly after the fight that led to his expulsion.

Sources confirm to YWN that a few hundred Jewish teenagers attend this school. At least one Jewish student is missing. Please say Tehillim for Rochel bas Leah. As of this posting, her parents have still not located her.

Our source tell us that as many as four of the victims are Jewish.

“It was a wrenching scene,” Rabbi Mendy Gutnick, youth director at Chabad of Parkland, told “Parents were gathered outside while their children were still inside of the school, and they had no way to save them.”

“Together with Rabbi Shuey Biston, I rushed to the school to give support to anyone we could. The school is at least 40% Jewish, so we know many of the students and their parents,” he continued. “We went from parent to parent and tried to offer as much comfort as possible, and helped them recite Psalms, praying for the students and faculty in the school. ”

The rabbi said he is coordinating with his fellow Chabad rabbis from nearby Coral Springs, home of many of the students, to hold an evening of prayer, consolation and memorial later this week.

More details will be reported as they become available.

YWN mourns the death of all the victims, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims equally. YWN is highlighting the Jewish aspect of this tragedy simply because of the interest of our readership. We continue to pray for the victims and their families – no matter their race or religion.

(YWN World Headquarters- NYC)


  1. these crazy mass killings are becoming more and more frequent in the USA. Something is uplugging people’s minds and causing them to go crazy on others.

    I don’t have any answers, except perhaps the violent entertainment media which I never see….

  2. I appreciate your attempt at a caveat in red at the bottom of the article. That said I think printing articles specifically about Jews in situations of this sort does our people a disservice. I assume we as orthodox Jews and as human beings are concerned for everyone injured and should only convey these sentiments.

  3. Joseph has repeatedly said its assur for him to “think before he posts” and his mindless, hateful and deliberately offensive comments are something over which he has no control. While the editorial staff at YWN posts a simple and elegant message of concern for ALL the victims and why their focus in these articles is for their readership, Joe feels compelled to tell the world, NO, we don’t care equally about all….Yidden are our primary concern. I’ll forego expressing the real feelings of many readers about such a posting and our wishes for the poster.

  4. Of course we are upset about anyone who has to endure such a tragedy, and we feel their pain. However, I think it’s human nature to care more for your immediate family than a stranger. I believe Joseph is alluding to the idea that we are supposed to feel that all Jews are family, not strangers.
    While I appreciate not all Jewish tenets are compatible with the political correctness, or even some of the laws, in our society, I see no need to dwell on what divides us, especially in a public forum.
    It is specifically at times like this that we should be focusing on what unites us.

  5. So when a Non Jew says he will care more about non Jews over Jews , he will be labeled an anti semite and when a jew makes an equivulant statement , that is ok? Talk about a double standard

  6. @Git Meshige – I think there is a big difference between say, “As a Hispanic I mourn the loss of my fellow Hispanics that were murdered” as apposed to saying, “I only mourn the loss of non-African Americans”. I have no problem with anyone who feels the loss of his own more than of others. That’s human nature. What’s wrong is when you don’t care about anyone else.
    As far as Joseph’s statement, I can not say for sure, but I’m guess that Joseph didn’t mean to imply that concern for non-Jews is unnecessary. Rather, I think he was challenging YWN’s statement, “…all the victims “equally”…”. Personally, I feel that his comment was not necessary and in poor taste and would have been better off not said.

  7. I am surprised the issue of why we would want to read about the Jewish victims should be so confusing to frum Jews. Anyone with close family should be able to understand that you feel a special connection and have a special interest (as well as responsibility) to family. This does not mean we dont care about all victims of suffering–of course we do! But we also an extra connection—like it or not!—to members of the Klal Yisroel (the Jewish ‘Family’).

    It is the same issue with not taking ribbis. One could ignorantly say that ribbis is bad, but mutar to charge ribbis to a gentile since its ok to do something bad to him. Chas v’shalom, that cant be further from the truth! I heard R’ Adin Steinsaltz talk about this 20 years ago–he said ribbis is fine, and a normal business practice. But…we have an extra burden of responsibility when it comes to a fellow Jew that we need to have extra-scrutiny about helping him without expectation of any personal gain in return.

  8. @rt
    🤔 so if we are LESS safe under trump then why wouldn’t you need a semi automatic weapon? I guess there was a typo. We actually need posted armed security guards in all schools or should allowed or mandate teachers to carry concealed with the exception of those teachers that disagree for
    physical, political or religious reasons. That will prevent all this psychos from seeing schools as soft targets.

  9. ==Joseph has repeatedly said its assur for him to “think before he posts” and his mindless, hateful and deliberately offensive comments are something over which he has no control. ==

    I think this comment is offensive. What Joseph said is a legitimate question. We do have a concept like that.

  10. Dear wth there is a bird called s chasido which is treifa. Rashi says the reason is because it cares for its own not for others
    At least mipnei derkei shalom we must care for all of you are not a naturally caring person that is

  11. @RT
    while I’m not a Trump fan, it has nothing to do with him. There’s been mass shootings EVERY DAY for the last 25-30 years, republicans and democrats in the white house, and nothing’s been done. It has to do with all greedy politicians taking big bucks from NRA and worrying about not being reelected. Let’s not blame Trump; this happened under Obama, Clinton, Bush as well.

  12. Thank you Chabad rabbis for being there, supportive, & davening with the frightened parent body.

    rt: a scary world with abundance of violence displayed in movies, tv shows, videos, hateful rhetoric espoused by everyone, throwing addicted/harmful drugs into angry/hostile people & ridiculous gun laws in Florida. After buying eggs at Target – the next stop is Gun store on Atlantic to purchase a semi automatic.

  13. We need semi auto rifles because evil exists. And the founding fathers recognized that while individual evil can threaten anyone anytime, it is the evil in the hearts of those in power that imperils whole peoples. And to guarantee that that evil never threatens this great land, they enshrined the bill of rights to defend against it.
    Just like poverty, and sickness – evil is a part of this world and cant be legislated or wished away, only prepared for and defended against .