Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, the son of a prominent Boston rabbi,was one of four people killed Tuesday in when two Islamic extremists unleashed a bloody attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, according to theIsraeli Foreign Ministry.
Originally from Boston, Twersky, 59, was inside the Jerusalem synagogue around 7 a.m. Israeli time when two Palestinians charged inside armed with a meat cleaver and a gun, according to a report by Reuters.
Twersky came from a long line of distinguished Boston Jewish community leaders, according to a report by The Boston Globe. His father, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, was a Harvard professor who died in 1997. Isadore Twersky also workedas the university’s director of the Center for Jewish Studies.
“Rabbi Moshe Twersky, who was murdered while at prayer in Jerusalem this morning, was the son of my late and revered colleague, Professor Isadore Twersky, founding director of Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies,” Director Eric Nelson of the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University said in an emailed statement. “I know that I speak for all of us in the CJS community when I say that we are heartbroken at the news of this unspeakable act of sacrilegious cruelty. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Twersky family at this terribly sad and difficult time.”
Mosheh Twerskywas one three of the victims to hold a dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, and the fourth man was a British-Israeli national, police said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to respond with a “heavy hand”, and again accused Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting violence in Jerusalem.
Abbas condemned the attack, which comes after weeks of unrest fueled in part by a dispute over Jerusalem’s holiest shrine.
Reuters contributed to this report.