Patients say shooting victim Jerry Rabinowitz was a friend before doctor

November 18, 2018

Patients, coworkers and friends were stunned to learn Sunday that long-time physician Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz was among the 11 gunned down at the Tree of Life Congregation a day earlier.

Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood, who treated patients at his Bloomfield practice, was fondly recalled as a committed doctor and friend.

“I’ve known him for maybe 20 years,” said Daniel Berczik of Highland Park. “It started out as a doctor, but he became someone I could just talk to.”

Berczik said he spoke to his friend and doctor just two weeks ago, He was devastated when he heard that Rabinowitz was one of the victims.

“I can’t imagine what his last moments must of been like,” he said. “He was one of the kindest, most loving people I ever met.”

Patients remembered a doctor who would be available to patients’ calls around the clock.

“Jerry was my doctor for over 30 years,” said Nancy Wood of Penn Hills. “I had an appointment last Thursday and mentioned to him that I had been a patient for so long he was not just a doc, but also a friend. He laughed and told me that was the way it was supposed to be.”

Law Klaus, a retired deputy district attorney in Allegheny County, said Rabinowitz served as his personal doctor for more than 30 years.

“Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz was more than just a physician for me and my family; for over three decades he was truly a trusted confidant and healer who could always be counted upon to provide sage advice whenever he was consulted on medical matters, usually providing that advice with a touch of genuine humor. He had a truly uplifting demeanor, and as a practicing physician, he was among the very best.”

Other tributes were sent in by email.

“I am devastated. I am a 69-year-old Aussie who came here in 2005 and was suggested Dr. Rabinowitz as my primary care doctor,” wrote Dennis James “He instantly replied to my neurotic calls from hundreds of miles away and talked me through it. The man is irreplaceable.”

A woman at the Rabinowitz home Sunday said the family was not prepared to make any comments.

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