A Kansas City rabbi and the grandson of a prominent Jewish leader were among the five people killed in a synagogue attack in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that two Palestinians armed with knives and a gun attacked worshipers during their morning prayers, and were subsequently shot and killed by police.
According to the ABC News, three of the people killed in the attacks were Americans; the fourth was a British national, and a hospital spokeswoman later announced the fifth, a police officer, died of wounds from the attack, CNN reports.
Kalman Levine, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, was among the Americans killed. Levine, also known as Cary William Levine, moved to Israel to devote himself to religious study. He was 55.
Another victim of the attack, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, moved to Israel in 1990. Twersky, 59, was the son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky, who founded Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. His grandfather was a prominent Boston rabbi, Joseph Soloveichik.
The third American victim was identified by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Rabbi Aryeh Kupinksy, who was married with five children, ages 5 to 16.
The fourth man killed was British-born Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68.
President Barack Obama condemned the “horrific” attack on Tuesday. “We know that two attackers senselessly and brutally attacked innocent worshippers in a synagogue during their morning prayers,” he told reporters at the White House. “Obviously, we condemn, in strongest terms, these attacks.”
Obama called the killings “a tragedy for both nations – Israel as well as the United States – and our hearts go out to the families, who obviously are undergoing enormous grief right now.”