Synagogue leader’s stabbing death sparks outpouring of grief

The slaying of a Detroit, Michigan synagogue president has sparked an outpouring of grief on social media, with city officials and community members mourning her loss and calling for an end to hate and violence.

Samantha Woll, 40, who led the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, was found stabbed to death Saturday morning outside her home in Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood, according to local media reports.

Woll had led the synagogue since 2022 and was involved in other local Jewish organizations. A statement sent by its rabbi said it was “shocked and saddened,” by Woll’s “unexpected death.”

Newsweek reached out via email and Facebook on Saturday to the Detroit Police Department and the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue for comment.

Police tape is seen on the ground at a crime scene in Monterey Park, California, on January 22, 2023. Detroit synagogue president Samantha Woll, 40, was found stabbed dead this morning outside her home, according to local reports.

The synagogue shared a statement about Woll’s “unexpected” death on Facebook.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Samantha Woll, our Board President,” the synagogue said in the statement. “At this point we do not have more information, but will share more when it becomes available. May her memory be a blessing.”

Police began investigating after finding a body stabbed multiple times outside of a residence along Joliet Place, with a trail of blood led to the victim’s home, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Woll also had political connections, having previously worked for Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and on the re-election campaign of Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats, according to the outlet.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that he was “devastated” by the loss of “one of Detroit’s great young leaders.”

“Just weeks ago, I shared a day of joy with Sam at the dedication of the newly renovated Downtown Synagogue,” he said. “It was a project she successfully led with great pride and enthusiasm.”

In a subsequent post, the mayor said: “Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community. This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death.”

This is a developing news story and will be updated.