Samantha Woll was buried by her family and loved ones on Sunday afternoon after the leader of Detroit’s Jewish community was found murdered in her home yesterday morning.
Woll, 40, was the head of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue. She was found dead in her home at 6:30 am yesterday.
In a heartbreaking speech from her younger sister, Woll was remembered in the aftermath of her shocking death for being selfless and loving.
There was “literally no one more caring or thoughtful than you,” her sister Monica said.
‘If someone complimented something of yours, you took it off and gave it to them. Your soul was beautiful and pure – you never said no, but ‘how can I help?’
“You loved my children as your own… you were my older sister, you taught me, protected me, loved me with all your heart,” she said.
“You longed so deeply for peace for this world. You fought for everyone, no matter who they were or where they came from. Your last text message was to a friend – just a heart, to cheer him or her up.
“Sam, I feel like I’m about to wake up from a horrible nightmare, and you’re going to hug me and hold me. This was not the intention.’
Samantha Woll, 40, served as head of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022 and was known for her work with several Democratic politicians, including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin
Woll had appeared on the Detroit Jewish News “36 under 36” list in 2017, where she was noted as a “social justice and political activist”
Her devastated sibling concluded: ‘I promise to always take care of mum and dad, we love you so much.’
Woll’s brother-in-law Ben talked about the connecting role she played within their family.
He said that in a recent, somewhat charged family email chain, she wrote, “If there is any disconnect between the Jewish community and black lives matter, we must engage more — not less.”
Woll was remembered by several speakers at the highly emotional funeral for her commitment to justice and equality.
Detroit police still have no suspect or motive in the terrifying murder of a female synagogue president — 27 hours after she was stabbed to death in her home.
Samantha Woll, 40, head of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, was found dead on Joliet Place at 6:30 a.m. yesterday — more than a day later, police still say they have made no arrests.
While it is unclear whether this was a hate attack, the shocking ordeal comes amid historic unrest in Israel and Gaza – and just days after the murder of a Muslim boy in Chicago.
Woll was known for her work within her community, and with several Democratic politicians, including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.
Her body was reportedly discovered after someone traced a “blood trail” leading to her home. She was found there with multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say they are still investigating the crime and have not yet released a motive for the crime.
It remains unclear whether the murder has any connection with the unrest in the Middle East.
Tributes quickly poured in for the religious leader, known for her work building bridges between the Jewish and Muslim communities, as her synagogue expressed shock over her sudden, “unexpected” death.
“We do not have more information at this time, but we will share more as it becomes available,” her synagogue said.
“May her memory be a blessing.”
Woll was named to Detroit Jewish News’ “36 under 36” list in 2017, which described her as a “social justice and political activist.”
“She was instrumental in founding the Muslim-Jewish Forum of Detroit – a grassroots collective of young adults from both faiths who come together to learn, celebrate and build community together,” the beaming profile reads.
She was praised for helping “build and deepen important relationships” between local Jewish and Muslim communities, where she organized “revolutionary events including an interfaith Iftar dinner welcoming Syrian refugees.”
Woll was tragically pronounced dead at the scene outside her home after suffering multiple stab wounds
Woll served as the head of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022 and was also known for her work with several Democratic politicians
“By reaching out and creating space for connection between Muslims and Jews, she has exemplified the values of healing the world.”
According to the World Population Review, Michigan has one of the largest Muslim populations per capita in the United States.
Investigators have not indicated any connection to the conflict in the Middle East, but it comes just days after US Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that Muslims and Jewish people are at increased risk of threats and hate crimes because of the situation.
The fatal stabbing also occurred just a week after Palestinian-American boy Wadea Al-Fayoume, 6, was stabbed to death in Illinois.
In a statement after the Jewish leaders’ deaths, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, for whom Woll had also worked during her re-election campaign, said she was “shocked, saddened and horrified” by the “murder.”
“Sam was as kind as I’ve ever known. She was driven by her genuine love for her community, state and country. Sam has really used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone,” Nessel said on X.
The Jewish leader’s body was discovered outside her downtown Detroit home after police followed a blood trail to her property.
Michigan Attorney General Danal Nessel paid a heartbreaking tribute to Woll (pictured together), saying the Jewish leader was “as kind a person as I have ever known.”
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin also praised Woll, saying she was one of the leaders who helped guide her office during her first full term in Washington.
“As deputy district director, she did for our team what came so naturally to her: helping others and serving her constituents,” she said on X.
“Separately, in politics and in the Jewish community, she dedicated her short life to building understanding between faiths and bringing light in the face of darkness.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he was devastated “to learn of the loss of one of Detroit’s great young leaders.”
‘Just a few weeks ago I shared a day of joy with Sam at the dedication of the newly renovated Downtown Synagogue. It was a project that she successfully led with great pride and enthusiasm,” he said in a statement.
“The loss of Sam has left a huge hole in the Detroit community. This entire city, along with her family and friends, mourns her tragic death.”
State Rep. Noah Arbit, who is Jewish, described Woll as the “kindest, most beautiful soul” as he paid his respects.
‘I’m shattered and broken and can’t move. There are no words,” he said.
‘The kindest, most beautiful soul, taken in the most evil, brutal way. Sam was committed to justice and equality. In her name we will never give up. Baruch Dayan Emet, Sam. You were so loved and cherished.”