Hundreds mourn rabbi, wife killed in house fire
Hundreds of tearful mourners filled a New Rochelle synagogue Sunday to bid final farewells to a beloved rabbi and his wife, both killed in a fire.
Authorities say a fire gutted the New Rochelle home of Rabbi Jacob Rubenstein and his wife, Deborah Rubenstein, Saturday morning. Investigators say the extent of the damage makes it hard to determine whether lightning or something else caused the fire.
Jacob Rubenstein, 59, led Temple Young Israel, which boasts about 400 Orthodox Jewish members, for the past two decades. He was well-known for his social activism, legislative advocacy and professional writings.
"The people loved him," said mourner Jack Goldman. "He interacted with them. He enjoyed their joys and was also there when they had sorrows."
His wife was also fondly remembered. "She was a remarkable woman in her own right," said mourner Pamela Barkley. "She did a lot to further Jewish education for children throughout Westchester."