Family, friends, and senior Michigan authorities honored a Detroit synagogue president who was tragically murdered at her home on Sunday as a kind, considerate leader who bridged cultures.
Police said their ongoing investigation into Samantha Woll’s murder revealed no evidence of antisemitism as a motive as mourners gathered to pay their respects to her.
The 40-year-old Woll, also known as “Sam” to her loved ones and friends, was the leader of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. She also worked as a campaign manager for Attorney General Dana Nessel and as a former assistant to Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin.
“You sincerely desired that this world be at peace. In front of mourners at the Jewish funeral home, Monica Woll Rosen addressed her late sister, saying, “You fought for everyone regardless of who they were or where they came from. “You embodied what a leader should be. Without you, our world is destroyed.
Woll’s body was discovered at her residence early on Saturday morning after a caller informed police that someone was laying on the ground motionless. According to authorities, Woll was killed at her home, and police found a “trail of blood” there, according to Cpl. Dan Donakowski.
Authorities were collaborating with the FBI to examine forensic evidence in order to put together a timeline leading up to Woll’s death, according to Police Chief James E. White on Sunday.
Interviewing “people with information that may further this investigation” was part of it. More details would be released on Monday, according to White, who had previously urged the public not to jump to conclusions. He said that “no evidence has surfaced suggesting that this crime was motivated by antisemitism.”
Woll was raised in the Detroit region and graduated from the University of Michigan. In 2022, she was elected to lead the board of directors at Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. Friends and family claimed Woll was a person of many different religions, and mourners noticed that the gathering represented this.
She received praise for her interfaith efforts from Muslim advocacy organizations, among others. She sought out connections to other causes, such as Black Lives Matter, according to family members.
Her love of the arts, travel, and her “infectious smile” were remembered by coworkers as qualities that would brighten any space.
The service had humorous moments about her personality, including comments about her food allergies and how, when she received compliments on an item of clothing, she would take it off and offer it to someone else.
Nessel, who referred to Woll as one of her most ardent supporters, claimed that she had been admiring old photographs and how busy she was. She attended every political rally, every protest, every religious service, and every ribbon-cutting.
Nessel made a joke: “I thought I saw her in a picture of the moon landing. “I don’t understand how she can be in so many places at once.” According to her sister, Woll texted a heart to a pal in her final text message.
According to her sister, Woll texted a heart to a pal in her final text message. “You sent hearts to cheer people up and let them know you were thinking of them because you cared,” Monica Woll Rosen said, referring to her late sister.
“A light has gone out in Detroit, in our hearts, for our people, and for the world.”