Jewish Telegraphic Agency; jta.org
(JTA) — Funerals were held for three more Jewish victims of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Hundreds of family, friends, students and colleagues attended the funeral on Sunday of teacher Scott Beigel at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida, that was live-streamed on the synagogue’s website.
Beigel, 35, a geography teacher and cross country coach at the school, saved students’ lives by opening his classroom door and ushering the students in. He was shot while closing the door behind them.
He reportedly told his fiance, Gwen Gossler, who he met at Pennsylvania’s Camp Starlight when they both worked as counselors seven years ago, that if he ever was the victim of a school shooting that she would not talk about the “hero stuff.” They had been watching news coverage of a similar school shooting on television at the time, she said during the funeral.
The Sunday funerals for first-year students Jamie Guttenberg and Alex Schachter were moved to a Fort Lauderdale hotel to accommodate more than a thousand mourners, according to reports.
The funeral for Alex Schachter, 14, who was a member of his school’s marching band, was closed to media. The Miami Herald reported that remembrances at the funeral “focused on his love for movies, his humor and his passion for the high school’s marching band, in which he played trombone,” as well as the secret ingredients in his special smoothie.
The teen’s family set up a GoFundMe page in his memory to fund a scholarship program to “help other students experience the joys of music” as well as fund increased security at schools.
Mourners who attended Jamie Guttenberg’s funeral on Sunday wore orange ribbons in her memory, which stood out against their black mourning clothes, according to the Miami Herald. Orange was her favorite color.
Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan in his eulogy tried to answer the question of where was God during the attack. He said: “God is in the teachers who protected them. God is in the first responders who went in that day. God is in the police who raced to the school, and God is in the families who waited. … God is in the people, all over the world, who sent condolences.”