While the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta were in the frontlines of America's response to the terrorism that hit America on Sept. 11, there was little they or any organization could do to aid the vast majority of victims.
Survivors were few; over 3,000 souls died instantly.
Among the dead were many Jews. Brief biographies of some of them follow:
By PAULINE DUBKIN YEARWOOD Chicago Jewish News
A 30-year-old resident of Ashdod, Israel, Avraham was on her first trip to the United States. She was traveling from Boston to Los Angeles on United Airlines Flight 175, which struck the World Trade Center's South Tower.
Feinberg is one of at least three Jewish firefighters who perished while helping to evacuate occupants of the Twin Towers. Feinberg was a Brooklyn native who lived in Marlboro, N.J., with his wife, Wendy, son Michael, 15, and daughter Tara, 18.
GERALD P. FISHER
Gerald "Geep" Fisher, a consultant with the management and consulting firm of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, had come to the Pentagon to discuss methods of handling survivor benefits for armed forces staff. He lived in Potomac, Md., with his wife, Christine. He also leaves two children from a previous marriage, his mother and a sister.
Glick, 31, of West Milford, N.J., called his wife, Lyz, from United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco and talked to her for 30 minutes on his cell phone. He told her that three "Arab- looking men" carrying knives and telling passengers they had a bomb in a red box, had taken over the plane. His wife informed him of what had happened at the World Trade Center. Then he said that he and three or four other 6-foot-plus passengers had come up with a plan to jump the hijackers and stop them from doing whatever they had planned to do with the plane.
Investigators believe that Glick and his fellow passengers kept the plane from hitting a Washington, D.C., target, possibly the White House.
Glick is survived by his wife and then-12-week-old daughter.
Lefkowitz, 50, worked on the 87th floor of the World Trade Center as a mediator for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Lefkowitz's wife, Sara, and their son, Daniel, live in Belle Harbor, N.Y.
RICHARD ALLEN PEARLMAN
Richard Pearlman, 18, was one of the youngest victims - and heroes - of the Sept. 11 tragedy. He was dropping off a delivery in downtown New York when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Trained in CPR, he called his office to say he was going over to the building to help. After that phone call to his office, Pearlman wasn't heard from again.
Lt. j.g. Darin Pontell of Gaithersburg, Md., 26, was killed when a hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon. He had just celebrated his 26th birthday. One month before, he and Devora Volk, a lawyer, had gotten married.
Todd Reuben, 40 who lived in Potomac, Md., was on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. He was an attorney. He is survived by his wife, Vivian; twin sons Jeffrey and Jason; and his parents, brother and sister.
Josh Rosenblum, 27, worked at the trading desk for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center.
Sandler, 57, a well-known philanthropist, was a senior managing principal and co-founder of Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P., a full-service investment-banking firm. His office was in the World Trade Center.
He lived in New York City and Southampton, Conn., with his wife, Suki, and their three daughters.
Schwartz worked for Aon on the 101st floor of Two World Trade Center.
She is survived by her parents and two brothers.
Solomon, 52, was vice president of business development for the San Francisco-based Callixa Corporation, a software company. She was participating in a trade show in the Windows on the World restaurant on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower when the plane hit. Solomon's family lives in a San Francisco suburb.
GINA BURSZTYN SZTEJNBERG
Sztejnberg, a senior vice president with J.P. Morgan, worked on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower where she was working on a project for Marsh & McLennan. She is survived by her husband, Mike, and two daughters, Laurie and Julie.
Weiss, 41, was one of more than 300 firefighters lost when the World Trade Center collapsed during their rescue efforts.
At least two other Jewish firefighters are believed to have perished on Sept. 11. Weiss is survived by his wife, Carla, and two teenage children, Michael and Elissa.
ERNEST M. WILLCHER
As an employee of a management and consulting firm, Willcher, 62, and two colleagues were briefing some generals when a hijacked plane hit the Pentagon. He lived in Gaithersburg, Md., with his wife, Shirley, and two sons, Ben and Joel.
An Orthodox Jew, Zalmanowitz, 55, who lived in Flatbush, N.Y., was a computer programmer for Blue Cross/Blue Shield on the 27th floor of One World Trade Center. For years, he had been a co-worker and close friend of Ed Bayea, a Roman Catholic and a quadriplegic who worked at the next desk. Zalmanowitz had summoned help for the wheelchair-bound Bayea, and promised to stay with him until that help arrived. At some point shortly afterward, the building collapsed, burying everyone still inside it under tons of rubble.
Zalmanowitz was unmarried and lived with his brother, Jack, sister-in-law Chavie, and their family.
Zeplin, 33, was an equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, but by all accounts his real passion was his family. He was at the company's trading desk on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center when the plane struck the building. He leaves his wife, Deborah, and two sons, Ryan, 3, and Ethan, 9 months. He is also survived by his father, Leonard, the elementary school principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush, N.Y.
Zucker, 27, an attorney who worked on the 85th floor of Two World Trade Center, apparently helped dozens of people in his office get out of the building after the plane hit, but not himself.
Zucker lived in Riverdale, N.Y., with his wife Erica.
How do you count the Jews?
How many victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were Jewish?
Nobody knows, and some are not sure that anyone should be asking the question.
First, leaders of New York's Jewish community needed to get a sense of how many Jews were missing and presumed dead in the attacks. That task fell to Mordecai Dzikansky, an Orthodox Jew and New York City homicide detective, the Wall Street Journal reported.
After sifting through missing-persons reports filed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, he noted that about 1,700 listed the religion of the missing person. Of those, about 10% were Jewish.
Using the 10% figure as a guideline, if an estimated 3,000-plus individuals perished in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, there may have been some 300 Jewish victims.
But other factors might skew the results. For instance, Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond trading firm on the upper floors of the World Trade Center that lost some 600 workers Sept. 11, was reported to have a higher percentage of Jewish employees than would be expected from a statistical analysis of the population - even the New York City population.
At the Pentagon, a rabbi who helped recover bodies estimated that 30 to 40 Jews were among the 190 killed there. The same rabbi, Menachem Youlis, also confirmed four Jewish fatalities on American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that hit the Pentagon.
Four Israelis were killed. Alona Avraham, Daniel Lewin and Hagai Shefi were on the hijacked planes, and Shai Levinhar was on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center at the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, where he worked as a bond trader.
Since the week after the attacks, Armin Osgood, a retired shoe salesman, helped coordinate scores of volunteers from the Orthodox synagogue where he belongs. They performed the ritual of sitting shmira outside the morgue on First Avenue and 30th Street.
Sitting in front of a morgue reciting psalms may not sound like inspiring work, but Osgood says there were no shortage of volunteers willing, even eager, to do it.
There are other issues that Orthodox families affected by the Sept. 11 disaster must deal with. According to Jewish law, if a married man disappears and no proof of his death is forthcoming, his wife becomes an agunah (literally, "chained woman"), unable to remarry unless a rabbinic court finds sufficient proof that her husband is deceased.
That's where Rabbi Moshe Tendler of Yeshiva University comes in. He is helping 13 Orthodox families who lost their loved ones on Sept. 11 find what he calls "evidentiary proof" that the individual was indeed killed.
Tendler said there is one bright spot that may have gotten lost amid all the tragedy: The lives of many Jews were spared because they went to synagogue to pray on the morning of Sept. 11. Because of the proximity to Rosh Hashana the next week and the Selichot prayers, the service that day was particularly lengthy, he said, on a day when "20 minutes meant the difference between life and death."
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the New York Jewish Week and the Washington Jewish Week contributed to this story. Excerpted and reprinted with permission of the Chicago Jewish News.