USC Alumnus Among Dead in Jerusalem

USC Alumnus Among Dead in Jerusalem

A University of Southern California alumnus was among those killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue this week, the man’s relative confirmed to CBS Los Angeles’ KCAL9.

Rabbi Cary William Levine, 55, was killed in a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof Tuesday morning by two Palestinian terrorists wielding axes and guns. Three other rabbis and a policeman were also killed in the attack, before the terrorists were shot dead by authorities arriving on the scene. 

Levine’s former brother-in-law and childhood best friend, Shimon Kraft, of Los Angeles, confirmed to CBS that Levine studied religion at USC before leaving for Israel. He called Levine, a Kansas City native, a “great father” and an “unbelievable husband.” 

“Sometimes people say that after a person’s gone but this is really true,” Kraft told CBS. “It’s the real deal. He was very special. The kindest person I ever knew.” 

Alan Edelman, associate executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City told NBC News that Levine moved to Israel about 30 years ago, and began teaching at a seminary. 

“He was a very special soul, and lived such a humble, modest life in Israel,” Edelman said. “There’s no death justifiable for a person like him. Nobody should die in a terrorist attack, but it’s another level of irony for such a sweet, sweet human being.” 

Another brother-in-law of Levine’s, Jonathan Bein, told CBS Denver that there is at least one small comfort in his relative’s passing. 

“Perhaps the saving grace was that, because of his commitment to the land of Israel, commitment to being in Jerusalem, that he went the way he would have wanted to go – which is in prayer in the land of Israel, in Jerusalem,” Bein said. 

 Levine is survived by his wife, nine children and five grandchildren.