Kansas City Jewish Community Badly Hurt by Hotel Tragedy

The Jewish community of Greater Kansas City was severely hurt in the tragedy which encompassed the entire community last Friday evening when two skywalks in the year-old Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed and resulted in the death of 113 persons and injury to almost 200 others.

There are three known dead in the Jewish community and many injured, including the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, Sol Koenigsberg. Koenigsberg, 56, and his wife, Rosette Koenigsberg, 52, were hospitalized with back and other injuries. They are listed in

“satisfactory condition.” Funeral services are being held or planned for Robert Jonas, 56, a religious school teacher at Temple B’nai Jehudah and father of two; Stephen Hershman, 59, a father of two children; and Paul Winett, 38, a father of three.

Mayor Richard Berkley, an active member of the Jewish community, has been a public leader, directing early rescue efforts, comforting the injured and the bereaved, and calling for a thorough investigation of the cause of the sudden tragedy.

Another member of the Jewish community receiving widespread if undesired publicity has been Steve Miller, who was conducting the orchestra which made the Friday afternoon and evening tea dances a big success at the new hotel. Miller himself was not injured, but narrowly missed being struck by the falling skywalks, which injured one member of his orchestra.

Memorial services are being held here for the victims and others, and the entire Kansas City is in a state of shock and mourning.

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