YIR: Lubin’s Family Continues to Honor Her Short Life
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YIR: Lubin’s Family Continues to Honor Her Short Life

The 20-year-old IDF officer was stabbed to death in November in Jerusalem.

Sgt. Rose Ida Lubin was laid to rest at Mount Herzl cemetery on Nov. 9 after being stabbed to death while on patrol in Old Jerusalem City.
Sgt. Rose Ida Lubin was laid to rest at Mount Herzl cemetery on Nov. 9 after being stabbed to death while on patrol in Old Jerusalem City.

The Atlanta Jewish community was shaken on Monday, Nov. 6, when the news started circulating that Dunwoody High School graduate Rose Lubin, 20, was stabbed to death by a 16-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem where she was on duty serving as an Israel Defense Forces Border Police officer. Another officer was also stabbed but survived the attack.

Rose had immigrated to Israel in 2022 and was serving as a “lone soldier,” meaning without her immediate family living in the country.

Immediately, members of her large extended family in the Atlanta area as well as her rabbi started sharing their shock and memories of the young woman who had long been considered exceptional. And many of them started arranging plane reservations to Israel so that they could attend her funeral at Mount Herzl National Cemetery, Nov. 9.

Thousands attended the funeral, including her parents, David and Robin, and stepmother, Stephanie, her two brothers, Alec and Joseph, and a sister, Lily. She also had a four-year-old half-brother, Isaac. Rose was the eldest. Members of the Halpern, Hirsch, and Oppenheimer families also attended the funeral, just as they had attended the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at an annual gala in Atlanta in May.

At that event, Congregation Ariel Rabbi Binyomin Friedman recalled Rose said her parents were her heroes because they supported her life-long decision to move to Israel and join its army.

Just weeks after returning from Israel, her parents are continuing to “honor Rose and all she stood for,” according to a great uncle, Steve Oppenheimer. Among those efforts are pending resolutions in honor of Rose at the Georgia Senate, Georgia House of Representatives, more than a dozen other state legislatures, a likely resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives and possible recognition in the U.S. Senate.

Her mother was recently invited to Philadelphia and spoke at three community events.

At her funeral, Rabbi Friedman said Rose stood out. “She was color, music, skipping, laughing, painting, and writing. She was life itself.” Before he left for Israel to attend her funeral, he noted that “she was an exceptional woman, sensitive and perceptive. As a little child, she was mature, a writer, performer, artist, and she thought deeply about everything. She would share with me what she wrote for school. She was mature way beyond her years. I told her father that she was special.”

At the funeral, her father described her as an all-American kid, but “wore her individuality every day.” He pointed to the fact that she changed her hair color and her distinctive clothes regularly, and never wore matching socks. He also admitted,

“I was nervous about her joining the IDF, but I was glad that her hair color” would revert to her natural color – rather than red or blue – and what while in the army, her socks would finally match.”

In his own eulogy, her brother, Alec, called Rose “my big sister, my first friend and my first best friend. She was the most free-spirited person I’d ever known” and the “most understanding person I ever met.” He said she loved to laugh, although it came out more as a snort. “There was nothing fake about Rose.”

Her stepmother, Lynne Keating Lubin, said that Rose never knew a stranger. “You couldn’t help but love her.”

The more than hour-long funeral ceremony concluded with a gun salute after dozens of colorful wreaths of flowers were laid upon her grave. They represented numerous Israeli and security organizations, but also one wreath that was purchased by the Atlanta Israeli community.

More than one person who knew Rose compared her to a comet shedding light while speeding across the universe. “That was Rose,” her step-grandmother Lynne Keating told the AJT. She related that one of Rose’s four siblings said that their sister accomplished more in her small lifetime than many people do in many more years.

Keating noted that Rose had long planned to join the IDF. When she was seven or eight, said Keating, her young friends would say, “I want to be your friend.” Lubin would respond: “I have to tell you that when I’m 18, I am moving to Israel and I’m going to be in the IDF.”

In a short video not long before she was killed, Lubin sent her family “shabbat shalom” greetings, waving to them and telling them that she loves them.

Rabbi Friedman said his congregation participated in a memorial for Rose at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and would be “dedicating other projects to Rose throughout the year.”

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