As the United States comes to terms with yet another shooting massacre, it has emerged that the youngest of the 20 children killed in the Newtown school massacre was a 6-year-old Jewish boy, whose twin sister and older sister escaped the rampage at the Sandy Hook School.
Noah Pozner was identified by the coroner as the youngest of the victims. He was shot 11 times.
Rabbi Shaul Praver of Adath Israel synagogue said he had spent time with Veronika Pozner, the mother of Noah.
"She said that she didn't know how she was going to go on, and we encouraged her to focus on her other four children that need her and not to try to plan out the rest of her life, just take a deep breath right now," Praver said.
The slain boy's uncle, Arthur Pozner, of Brooklyn, told Newsday that the family moved from New York to idyllic Connecticut because they believed it was safer. They targeted Newtown for its top-rated public schools.
"Extremely, extremely mature," Arthur Pozner said of Noah. "Very well brought up. Extremely bright. Extremely bright."
Another victim, Ben Wheeler, was also identified as being Jewish by some Israeli news outlets. His father David is a writer and performer with the Flagpole Shakespeare Repertory Theater, Newsday reported.
Noah Pozner's twin sister and 8-year-old sister were also students at the school, but escaped unhurt.
"At this stage, two out of three survived - that's sad," Arthur Pozner told Newsday. "The reason they moved to that area is because they did not consider any school in New York State on the same level - that's one of the reasons they moved, for safety and education."
"He was a sweet kid," said David Wiener, a past president of the synagogue who was at a memorial service held there Saturday as part of its regular Shabbat services.
In response to the question of why such tragedies happen, Praver told National Public Radio: "I don't know the answer to that. I never try to present a theological answer to that. I think what's more important is to have compassion, humanity and hold someone's hand and hug them and cry with them."
Praver, who ended his NPR interview with a plea for listeners to pray for the families affected, also said that another friend of the congregation was killed.
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