Two Jews among those killed in deadly Amtrak derailment

An Amtrak train. Credit: Adam E. Moreira via Wikimedia Commons.

( Two Jews were among the seven people killed in the Amtrak train derailment on Tuesday night in Philadelphia, a crash that also injured more than 200 people.

Citing a text message from her family, the New York Times on Wednesday reported the death of Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old CEO who was commuting back to her Manhattan home from her job with ApprenNet, an online education start-up in West Philadelphia.

Also killed was 20-year-old Justin Zemser, president of the Jewish Midshipmen Club at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Everybody looked up to my son and there are just no other words I could say,” said his mother, Susan Zemser, NBC News reported.

Jacobs was very active in the Jewish community near Detroit, where she grew up. In a 2011 interview, she spoke about her deep connection to the Jewish community.

“When we think about what it means to be Jewish, it’s very much focused on building community,” she said in describing Detroit Nation, a non-profit she co-founded.

Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are still looking into the cause of Tuesday night’s crash. The train’s “black box” device was taken to an Amtrak center in Delaware to learn more about the final moments.

Posted on May 13, 2015 .