The Jewish community of Manhattan’s Upper East Side was shocked and saddened by the news of the tragic petirah of Daniella Moffson, a”h, 21, who was killed together with two other volunteers in a bus accident in Honduras, where she had been on a goodwill mission.
“There are no words at a time like this,” Rabbi Elie Weinstock, Rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun, where the Moffson family are long-time members, told Hamodia. “The loss of a wonderful young woman and outstanding neshamah is painful for family, friends and community.”
Miss Moffson’s brief life was one marked by a dedication to helping the neediest of people. While attending high school at the Ramaz School in Manhattan, she served as chair of its chessed committee. Throughout her high-school years she volunteered in several pediatric units, and in ninth grade spent a summer working in a clinic for the critically ill in South Africa. While spending a year in Eretz Yisrael before beginning college, Miss Moffson worked in a home for abandoned and abused children. She had served as a counselor for several summers at Chai Lifeline’s Camp Simcha.
“Daniella was spreading to the world the same kindness she generously bestowed upon the campers of Camp Simcha when she was tragically taken from us,” said a statement issued by camp staff members.
The nifteres was in Honduras as part of a Global Brigade mission together with other students from Columbia University’s all-female Barnard College, where she was pursuing a pre-medical track. The group brought medical supplies and assisted patients as they shadowed doctors and helped in a pharmacy in poor communities. The volunteers were on a bus to the airport heading back to New York when the accident occurred.
Columbia student Olivia Erhardt, 20, and nurse-practitioner Abigail Flanagan, 45, were also killed. Several other members of the group sustained injuries.
“Daniella will forever be remembered as a young woman whose smile brought joy to everyone, whose prayers inspired those around her, and whose idealism touched the lives of so many,” read a joint statement from the Rabbis of Kehillath Jeshurun. “Daniella devoted her life, including her very last days, to improving the world through acts of chessed, tzedakah and kindness.”