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Tributes pour in for Pittsburgh synagogue victim who was prominent HIV doctor

Tributes pour in for Pittsburgh synagogue victim who was prominent HIV doctor

Jerry Rabinowitz smiling

The HIV community is remembering the legacy of Dr Jerry Rabinowitz who was one of 11 victims killed in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Robert Bowers has been arrested for allegedly opening fire during a Shabbat at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Pennsylvania city. Bowers allegedly attacked the synagogue during a bris for a gay couple’s twins.

The attack has been labelled the ‘deadliest’ attack on the Jewish community in the United States.

Rabinowitz also died in the shooting with Act Up member, Michael Kerr, posting a heartfelt tribute to the doctor. Kerr remembered Rabinowitz as a caring doctor who did not stigmatize HIV patients.

‘My doctor Jerry Rabinowitz was among those killed in the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting. He took care of me up until I left Pittsburgh for NYC in 2004,’ Kerr wrote on Facebook.

‘In the old days for HIV patients in Pittsburgh he was to one to go to. Basically before there was effective treatment for fighting HIV itself, he was known in the community for keeping us alive the longest. He often held our hands (without rubber gloves) and always always hugged us as we left his office.

‘And thank you Dr. Rabinowitiz (sic) for having always been there during the most terrifying and frightening time of my life. You will be remembered by me always. You are one of my heroes just like the early ACT UP warriors — some of which I now call friend.’

Rabinowitz the hero

According to his nephew Rabinowitz rushed to help the shooting victims rather than thinking about his own safety.

‘He was a doctor, a healer,’ Avishai Ostrin wrote on Facebook.

‘I just learned a short while ago that although the shooter traveled within the building looking for victims, Uncle Jerry wasn’t killed in the basement of the building where the congregation was Davening, he was shot outside the room.

‘Why? Because when he heard shots he ran outside to try and see if anyone was hurt and needed a doctor.

‘That was Uncle Jerry, that’s just what he did.’

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