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."

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."