A Jewish couple in their sixties, who had moved from Australia to Florida to be close to their children, and who had been missing since the Surfside, Florida condo building collapsed, have sadly been pronounced dead, reported the Yeshiva World.
Tzvi Ainsworth, 68, and Itty Ainsworth, 66, were identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Monday after their bodies were recovered from the remains of the building.
The Ainsworths had in recent years moved to Florida after living in Australia for two decades. They had seven children, most of whom live in Florida. Their daughter lives only blocks away from the site of the collapsed building.
According to Chabad.org, the couple was known to be modest and reserved but also well known for their hospitality and their selflessness with helping those in need.
Besides seven children, they were devoted grandparents to their grandchildren, some of whom lived in Florida.
A new grandchild was born Thursday, June 24, the day the collapse occurred.
Shortly after news spread of the disaster, and that Tzvi and Itty Ainsworth were among the building residents who were unaccounted for, relatives from all over the world began calling for “urgent prayers” for the couple, saying that their “hearts (were) bleeding.”
“There really are no words to express the pain that the community feels in relation to the entire tragedy and of course the two special people that we know and love,” Rabbi Nochum Schapiro, president of the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales, told the Australian Jewish News at the time.
Tzvi Ainsworth was born in Australia. He met Itty Fellig in Montreal, Quebec when he was there visiting relatives.
The couple married and lived in Sydney, Australia for 20 years where they were members of the Chabad of the North Shore, reported Chabad.org.
On a Mother’s Day blogpost last year, Itty’s daughter Chana Wasserman wrote about her mother’s warn and friendly nature.
“Every person she encountered, ever in her life, became her friend. Everyone was treated as equals. The guy at the laundromat, the guy working at the fruit market…”
Itty was a strong believer in positive thinking, always looking at the bright side of life.
“I know I will never be able to match my mother’s pure enthusiasm for life but it’s inspiring to watch,” Wasserman wrote.
In the days that followed the collapse, the Ainsworth children had held out hope that their parents would be rescued.
In an interview with Local 10 News on June 30, Chana Wasserman said she had hope her parents would survive the disaster.
“They are survivors and we believe that they will survive this,” she said. “It’s a tremendous deal. It’s their lives. It’s our lives. It’s everything for us.”
Her husband, Ezzy Wasserman said at the time that they family were still hoping for a miracle.
“I want my wife to have her parents back,” Ezzy Wasserman said. “They meant everything to her. They mean everything to me.”
Itty Ainsworth’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, lives in Miami Beach. She is suffering from cancer and does not know about her daughter’s tragic death, according to Chabad.org.
On Monday Miami-Dade Police confirmed that the bodies of the Ainsworths had been found in the rubble.
“We have identified two additional victims that sadly and unexpectedly lost their lives in the tragic Surfside building collapse. Please keep their families and loved ones in your prayers.”