Steven Sotloff’s parents light public menorah in his memory

December 23, 2014


The parents of Steven Sotloff, the Jewish journalist who was beheaded by a member of ISIS, lit a public menorah in Miami in his memory.

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff lit the first candle of Chanukah on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at the Chabad center.

“Steve was a proud Jew who always enjoyed the holidays,” Arthur Sotloff told “It was one of his defining characteristics.

“Chanukah is a time we commemorate the vanquishing of our enemies who tried to deprive us of our right to live with Torah. The Maccabees fought for Judaism, and Steve fought for the values they endowed us with.”

The directors of the Chabad center in Miami, Rabbi Yossi and Nechama Harlig, got to know the Sotloffs during the shiva period for their son and decided Chanukah would be the appropriate time to honor the slain journalist, “who sought to bring a little more light and truth to the world,” according to

On Sept. 2, ISIS released a nearly three-minute video showing the beheading of Sotloff. He had been abducted on Aug. 4, 2013, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey.

Sotloff, 31, who grew up in Miami, had articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya featured in publications including Time. com, the World Affairs Journal and Foreign Policy. He also freelanced for The Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report magazine.

It was revealed after his death that Sotloff held Israeli citizenship. His connections to Israel and the Jewish community reportedly had been sanitized from the Internet and social media in order to keep the information from his radical Islamic captors.

Sotloff, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, made aliyah in 2005.

His parents have established The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to provide scholarships for journalism students. (JTA)

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