Message from Steve Suroviec, ACHIEVA's President & CEO
Two members of the ACHIEVA family were killed during the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. Cecil and David Rosenthal were brothers supported by our residential and employment programs for many years. It is difficult to imagine the grief the Rosenthal family is going through, and ACHIEVA will continue to support them in this extremely difficult time. The ACHIEVA family also grieves – especially those staff members who knew and worked with Cecil and David for many years and got to know them on a personal level.
There is no sense that can be made of this senseless act and so I won't try. Rather I choose to focus on the lives of David and Cecil Rosenthal - two lives that deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
When the shooting took place, David and Cecil were doing what they enjoyed. They were two men participating in and enjoying their community. The Tree of Life synagogue welcomed David and Cecil as valued members of their community, and for that we are very grateful. So many good times and opportunities for fellowship were shared. And the benefits of the relationship between the two men and their community were mutual. Wonderful, lasting memories were created.
While their family and community grieve, we at ACHIEVA also grieve. The staff members who supported David and Cecil in their home, as well as those who helped them secure work and meaningful activities in the community, came to know and love David and Cecil.
I wish the murderer could have had the chance to meet Cecil and David - to get to know them - because if he had, he would never have - could never have - perpetrated such violence against them. It's tragic that someone could commit such a heinous act - and in so doing, end the lives of such good and innocent men like Cecil and David, and simultaneously create such suffering and pain for their family, members of their community, and the many staff members who got to know and love these wonderful men over the years.
The lives of Cecil and David had an impact on us, and so, too, will their deaths. They will be missed, and never forgotten.
As always, please feel free to send me constructive comments or questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).