NEW YORK — A Jewish child was identified as the youngest of the 26 victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Noah Pozner, who was a first-grader, as were all of the children killed at the school on Friday, had turned six on Nov. 20. He was to be laid to rest on Monday.
The Israeli news site Ynet reported that Noah’s twin sister is also a student at Sandy Hook but survived the shooting.
Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel in Newtown told NPR Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that he spent Friday, which he termed “the day from hell,” consoling Noah’s mother, who is a member of the synagogue.
Rabbi Praver was among the clergy, social workers and psychologists who arrived at a firehouse near the school where many of the victims and their families congregated after the shooting. On Saturday morning, Adath Israel held a community prayer service.
Rabbi 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.
Israeli leaders sent letters of condolence to President Barack Obama over the mass killing.
“On behalf of the people of Israel, as friends and as parents, we stand with you today in contemplation and grief over the atrocious, incomprehensible massacre of 20 children and six adults – educators – at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote. “No experience with death can be likened to that of a parents’ loss of their child. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a letter sent Friday that he was “shocked and horrified by today’s savage massacre of innocent children and adults” at the school.
“We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter, and we know the shock and agony they bring,” Netanyahu wrote. “I want to express my profound grief, and that of all the people in Israel, to the families that lost their loved ones. May you and the American people find the strength to overcome this unspeakable tragedy.”
In a video message posted on YouTube, Netanyahu addressed the American people, saying, “The people of Israel grieve with you. I can only pray that God will give you the strength, as he has given us, to overcome the tragedy and go on living.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that she would introduce a bill on the first day that Congress returns to session in January to ban the sale of assault weapons and the sale of clips of more than 10 bullets.
“I’m going to introduce it in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House,” Feinstein said on NBC’s Meet the Press.