8 Jews from two families killed in Costa Rica plane crash

Their extended families were 'deeply hurt' and the loss will be felt by their Jewish communities.

By JTA
January 1, 2018 16:29
1 minute read.
Wreckage from the small plane crash in Costa Rica on December 31, 2917

he tail of the burned fuselage of a small plane that crashed is seen in Guanacaste, Corozalito, Costa Rica on December 31, 2017. (photo credit: EZEQUIEL BECERRA / AFP)

A Jewish family of five from New York and three members of a Jewish family from Florida were killed in a small plane crash in northwest Costa Rica.

In all, 10 tourists, all US citizens, and two local crew members died in the crash on Sunday in Guanacaste.

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Bruce and Irene Steinberg of Scarsdale, New York, and their sons Matthew, 13; William, 18, a student at the University of Pennsylvania; and Zachary, 19, a student at John Hopkins University, were victims of the crash, relatives told reporters.



Bruce Steinberg, 50, worked in investment banking, and Irene Steinberg, 51, was active with the UJA-Federation of New York, according to the New York Post.

Rabbi Jonathan Blake of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale told The Post that relatives of the Steinbergs and the community, were “deeply hurting.”

“All the Steinbergs will be remembered by their Scarsdale and the temple community as among the most devoted to the welfare of the Jewish community and the beauty of the Jewish tradition. They will be deeply missed,” Blake said.

Florida doctors Mitchell and Leslie Weiss, and their daughter, Hannah, a 19-year-old student at Columbia University, also were killed in the crash. Rabbi Jacob Luski, of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida, said the Weisses were active members of the Jewish community.

The other Americans killed were identified as Amanda Rae Geissler and Gene Wing Szeto.

Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata said autopsies would have to be performed to confirm all the identities.

The plane, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, was owned and operated by Nature Air.


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