Hasidic Jews help rescue woman who jumped off George Washington Bridge

Gabe Friedman

NEW YORK (JTA) — Volunteers from a Hasidic Jewish enclave in New York state helped rescue a 25-year-old woman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

Heshy Gottdiener, 36, and others from New Square were searching for the body of a 46-year-old man from their Rockland County village who had leapt from the bridge on Jan. 22 when they saw the woman jump on Tuesday, NorthJersey.com reported.

The group, which had hired two boats and divers to look for the body of David Ahronowitz, called 911.

Scott Koen, who was helming one of the boats, helped guide a New York Police Department helicopter to the vicinity of where the female jumper landed.

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The woman had broken her legs and sustained significant trauma, but a Port Authority spokesman told NorthJersey.com that she was conscious at the hospital.

Koen, 58, a volunteer firefighter from Rutherford, New Jersey, was also involved in the “Miracle on the Hudson” rescue in 2009, helping passengers off the US Airways Flight 1549 with a dive ladder on the back of his boat.

Since 2009, only one of 96 jumpers had survived the 200-foot plunge off the bridge, according to NorthJersey.com.

As to the continued search for Ahronowitz, Gottdiener told NorthJersey.com, “We know a person has to be buried in order that the soul should rest in peace.”

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