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Two Brooklyn Jews Among Hurricane Sandy Victims

The daughter of a prominent local activist and her male friend crushed by a fallen tree in Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/31/2012, 4:45 AM

Hurricane damage
Hurricane damage
Caryn Lubin

Two Brooklyn Jews were among the 40 victims of Hurricane Sandy, The New York Observer reported on Tuesday.

The report said that the victims, the daughter of a prominent local activist and her male friend, were crushed by a fallen tree and killed in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn.

The female victim was identified as Jessie Streich-Kest, daughter of Jon Kest, executive director for New York Communities for Change, according to a spokesman for the family.

Council Member Mathieu Eugene identified the male victim as Jacob Vogelman of First Street in Brooklyn.

Neighborhood residents told The New York Observer the victims were out on Monday night walking a dog when a tree was uprooted from the sidewalk and trapped the pair beneath its weight. They were discovered on Ditmas Avenue near East 18th Street early this morning.

“Jessie was an amazing young woman who was known and loved by many NYCC members, staff and allies,” said Jonathan Westin, the spokesman for the Kest family, in an emailed statement. “Jessie loved life and was deeply devoted to social justice.”

Streich-Kest, 24, was a teacher at Bushwick High School for Social Justice, the spokesman said. She attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, and belonged to Facebook networks for the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and New York University.

Vogelman, a friend of Streich-Kest from middle school, graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a degree in theater design, according to his LinkedIn page, and was currently studying at Brooklyn College. According to the Ditmas Park Corner, he attended Goldstein High School near Manhattan Beach.

The Ditmas Park Corner reported that the dog, Max, a white pit bull mix, was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Among the victims of Hurricane Sandy were residents of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Toronto, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Seventeen of the victims lived in New York City. In Toronto, a woman was killed when a street sign was blown over by heavy winds and fell on her.

Over 150 people were rescued by New York City and state police. Instructions were to remain at home.

The storm also caused or worsened 23 serious fires, including a fire in Queens that destroyed 80 homes. An estimated 750,000 New Yorkers remain without power.

Altogether, 8.1 million Americans in 17 states were without power as of Tuesday afternoon (Eastern Time).

One U.S. sailor on board a replica of the HMS Bounty was recovered from the sea in an "unresponsive" condition on Monday and the captain was feared dead after the tall ship went down off the Carolinas. Fourteen crew members were rescued.

Refineries closed and major arteries such New York's Holland Tunnel were shut to traffic. The New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the futures markets in Chicago were closed for Monday and Tuesday, along with federal government offices and the entire Amtrak rail network on the eastern seaboard.

New York, Boston and Washington DC were effectively shut for business and the U.S. presidential election campaign was severely disrupted as candidates cancelled appearances.