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Tomorrow, Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Florida will host a memorial service for Steven Sotloff. The American journalist was tragically murdered by ISIL after he was shown in the beheading video of journalist James Foley. ISIL released a video showing Sotloff's beheading this past Tuesday.

The family has been mourning privately. Their spokesperson, Barak Barfi, spoke at a memorial for Sotloff on Tuesday evening. In his speech, he condemned the acts of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

A person close to the Sotloff family invited supporters to the memorial service on social media:

To everyone that has supported and prayed for Steven's return back home, we thank you even tho[ugh] Steve returned back home in spirit as he was taken from us too soon. This coming Friday at 1 pm we ask you to join us as we celebrate his life and mourn the brave and honorable American Journalist. "

Temple Beth Am confirmed by phone to The Wire that the service would be tomorrow at 1 p.m., open the public. The Temple's representative stated she believed, but could not confirm, that the family would be in attendance. Executive Director Bob Hersh told The Wire, "We have expanded the sanctuary so our capacity tomorrow will be approximately 1,000 people."

As the body is missing, the memorial service will serve as a makeshift funeral, explained Hersh. "There will be some prayers, as there is no funeral, there will be religious services intertwined." Sotloff attended school at Temple Beth Am. 

Sotloff practiced Judaism and was a citizen of Israel as well as the United States. When taken hostage, he faked illness during Yom Kippur so he could observe the fast. 

Temple Beth Am (StreetView)


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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