Dan Uzan, Hy”d, Beloved Guard of Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue

(AP/Hamodia) -

Copenhagen-Denmark’s chief rabbi called Dan Uzan an “irreplaceable” man whose longtime calling was to protect Copenhagen’s Jewish community.

“He was a person who was always willing to help. An amazing, amazing guy,” said Rabbi Jair Melchior, speaking from Israel’s international airport before boarding a return flight to Denmark.

The 38-year-old Uzan was on duty when he was shot to death early Sunday while guarding a building behind the synagogue.

“People are very sad; he was very well known and well liked,” Rabbi Yitzchok Lowenthal, director of Chabad of Copenhagen, told Hamodia. “He stood at the doors of the main shul for years. He was a big fellow and I remember thinking to myself when I came to the bas mitzvah earlier that night that he made me feel safe.”

There are an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 Jews in Denmark, including about 2,000 active members in the religious community. It operates its own security patrol that coordinates with police to protect Jewish institutions.

Uzan had wanted younger members to replace him in the security detail, the rabbi said, but the community kept asking him to serve as a guard.

His family is active in the community, and Uzan had attended a Jewish school and joined the community’s security efforts from a young age, Melchior said.