Ex-Liverpool rabbi killed in massacre

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Rabbi Abraham Shmuel Goldberg. Pic © Twitter / IsraelHatzolah

Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg. Pic © Twitter / IsraelHatzolah

A former Liverpool rabbi described as “the best of the British” has been killed in a synagogue terror attack.

Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg was among worshippers in prayer today in Jerusalem when Palestinian militants stormed the synagogue reportedly armed with knives, axes and guns.

Rabbi Goldberg and three others were killed and 12 were injured in the attack, described as the deadliest in Jerusalem in years.

The 68-year-old grandfather was born in Liverpool and formerly lived in Childwall. He moved to Golders Green in London before emigrating to Israel in 1991.

David Osborne, a lawyer who knew the rabbi, lives opposite the synagogue and was on his way there when the incident occurred.

He told the Jewish News: “I saw from the outside of the synagogue that something terrible had happened. I couldn’t get inside as within seconds security and police were there.

“All I could hear was people screaming.”

Mr Osborne, who saw Abraham daily, heard his close friend was one of those who had been murdered.

He said: “I went into complete and utter shock. This is a quiet neighbourhood; nothing ever happens here it is just a peaceful area.

“Avraham prayed there most days for the last ten years or so, he was a devout Jew with no political agenda.

“All he wanted was to live a peaceful life. His family are the nicest people you could meet. They had lots of children and several grandchildren.”

Describing his friend as ‘the best of British’, Mr Osborne added: “He was very devout in his prayers and an extremely popular member of the synagogue community.

“There was no security outside the building as in Israel synagogues are an open-house.

“We welcome everyone in. I also knew well the other three men who were killed. This is a total tragedy.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to act harshly in response to the attack. He described it as the “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray, and were killed by despicable murderers”.

About Alice Kershaw, JMU Journalism