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News

Brothers lost in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting remembered for their kindness, love for others

Article by WPXI-TV with reporter Jennifer Tomazic

The Rosenthal Family is sharing cherished pictures and memories of the four siblings: Cecil is the oldest, then Diane, then David, and Michele is the youngest.

The sisters are also sharing what they say is their brothers’ legacy of genuine kindness and true love for people.

“Cecil and David were the kindest individuals you could ever meet,” said Diane. She has fun, fond memories growing up with her brothers: David, she says, was a trickster and Cecil loved a good party.

Legacies Live On - View Video on WPXI

Much of their childhood was spent at the Tree of Life synagogue, a place Cecil and David continued to go to every Friday night and Saturday morning into adulthood. “It was a place of love, and feeling part of a community, and it was a safe place,” said Michele. Cecil showed kindness as soon as people walked through the door of the Tree of Life.

“It was important for Cecil to welcome people to the synagogue; that’s what he was known for,” said Diane. “David was very neat, so he made sure the books were lined up.” Tragically, David and Cecil spent their last moments at the Tree of Life, where the brothers were among 11 Jewish people killed while worshiping on October 27, 2018.

“We were just trying to get through those days,” said Michele. Part of what helped was the people that came into Michele and Diane’s lives because of their brothers. “They surrounded our family; they knew Cecil and David,” said Diane. “People literally came out of the woodwork; they had to tell their story: ‘Well I met your brother here,’ or, ‘I see your brother here.’”

“The boys,” as their family affectionately calls them, spread their zeal for life in every corner possible in Squirrel Hill. “It was love at its purest,” said Michele. “No judgment, no bias.” And that has become the basis for their Love Like The Boys campaign. You may have seen #loveliketheboys around.

“It is a very, very simple lesson: just be kind,” said Diane. “Doing random acts of kindness: little things like helping someone across the street, or paying for someone at Starbucks just because you want to.”

The campaign is working. Diane knows because she woke up to a text from a friend that read: “I’m rocking my #loveliketheboys t-shirt today and thinking years later, Cecil and David still have a positive effect on the world.”

And they’re helping people in Pittsburgh with intellectual and developmental disabilities through Achieva. The nonprofit supported Cecil and David for 20 years with housing and employment, and now it helps manage a memorial fund in their names. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply to get technology, take lessons, and even take vacations.

“It’s a great way to keep their memory alive and help others and to have fun and feel like they belong in the community like Cecil and David did,” said Lisa Razza, Director of Communications for Achieva.

“We can’t change what happened but we can pass their amazing qualities onto people and ask the world to live like they did and hence, #loveliketheboys,” said Michele. If you’d like more information about Cecil and David Rosenthal’s legacy of love and kindness, one simple act at a time, click here: https://www.achieva.info/rosenthal.

Legacies Live On - View Video on WPXI


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