“A Jewish Hero”: Lone Soldier from Atlanta killed in Jerusalem attack

A Lone Soldier from Atlanta was killed on Nov. 6 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin, 20, was a border police officer near Herod’s Gate at Jerusalem’s Old City. She had immigrated to Israel in August 2021 and was drafted into the police force in March 2022.

An attacker stabbed Lubin, and another officer was moderately wounded. They were both treated at the scene before being evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the attacker as Muhammad Omar al Farouk, 16, of East Jerusalem. He was shot and killed by other Border Police officers. Another suspect was detained at the scene.

Lubin, daughter of Robin and David Lubin, was a 2021 graduate of Dunwoody High School.

At Dunwoody, she was on the girls’ flag football team and was the only female on the wrestling team — but still won a lot of the matches. She also became a cheerleader.

Since football games were on Fridays, she received permission from her rabbi to ride the bus back to school after dark, but she still walked home from there.

Lone Soldiers are those who go to Israel to serve in the Israeli military but have no other relatives in the country. Arrangements are made so these soldiers have somewhere to go when soldiers normally would go home, and receive other support services.

In May, Lubin spoke at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala in Atlanta, where she said “if you’re ever by Herod’s Gate, come say hi, I’ll give you a fist bump and a smile and wave you on.” About 40 of her family members, from the Lubin, Hirsch, Halpern and Oppenheimer families, were at the gala.

She had relatives throughout the region; an email from Adath Israel in Cleveland, Miss., noted that she was the great-niece of their members, Avery and Charlyn Lubin.

At the gala, she said she had another 14 months on her current tour, and was thinking of signing up for more IDF roles or pursue a degree in exercise science.

“Friends of the IDF and Jews worldwide mourn the loss of Rose Lubin Z”L, a special young woman and courageous Lone Soldier from Atlanta who made the ultimate sacrifice for the State of Israel and her people,” said Seth Baron, FIDF vice president of Georgia and Southeast States.

Lubin “was not just a committed Lone Soldier, she was a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for the Jewish people. Her courage and her commitment to protect Israel are a true inspiration, even in the face of grave danger,” he added. “She epitomized the values of dedication and commitment to her mission, and she will always be remembered and honored by the Atlanta community as a selfless hero.”

At the gala, she spoke of how her unit’s motto spoke to her soul, “Generations dreamed of arriving in Jerusalem, and we have the honor of protecting her.” She also reflected on the generations of her family that would have also been there had there been an Israel during the Holocaust. She felt an obligation to take opportunities they were denied, including “watching over the Jews who are living the dream of walking to the Kotel on Shabbat.”

The Israeli Consulate in Atlanta mourned the loss, recalling seeing her speak at the FIDF gala “about how much she loved serving and protecting the State of Israel… May her memory and the memory of her smile that night and always, forever be a blessing.”

Her commanders reportedly considered her a “fierce fighter” who was first to volunteer for any mission.

The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, Nov. 6, 2023. Credit: MDA.

Lubin lived at Kibbutz Sa’ad, near the Gaza border, and was there on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked communities in that area. She joined the battle to defend the kibbutz from the Hamas terrorists, until later in the day when she was called back to duty in Jerusalem. Hamas was unsuccessful in infiltrating that kibbutz.

A commander had reportedly offered her time off after witnessing the horrors of Oct. 7, but she insisted on resuming her duties to protect civilians.

Rabbi Binyomin Friedman of the Ariel Congregation in Atlanta spoke at Lubin’s funeral at Mount Herzel Cemetery in Jerusalem on Nov. 9. “Rose is different,” he said. “Anyone who had an interaction with Rose remembered that interaction,” and “when you walked away, you felt touched, because you realized you had been part of something special.”

He said a congregant, upon hearing the news, said “I remember Rose’s Bat Mitzvah speech and how much it touched me.” He noted how unusual it is for a random congregant to remember a Bat Mitzvah speech years later.

Her mother read that speech at the funeral. Lubin had written that she wanted to “create a mind-blowing life story” and do something great for the world, rather than wait for the world to do something great for her.

Her father said that even as a child, she would tell kids in the playground that they could be friends now, but when she turned 18 she was going off to join the IDF.

Despite her focus and determination, Friedman said, “Rose was color, Rose was music, Rose was skipping and laughing… Rose was as bright as you could possibly be, she was light itself.”

He said that “it was not at all surprising that a focused person would be drawn to bring herself to her land and to her people, and in her short decades, her two decades that she had in this world, she gave her life absolutely and totally to her people and to her God. Rose was a Jewish hero.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called Lubin “an inspiration to us all. While the horrors of war may seem far away, moments like these remind us why it is paramount to stand alongside our friends in Israel as they fight against terror in their land.”

On Nov. 9, the Walla news site reported that an officer exhibited “serious disciplinary and operational failure” in the events leading up to the attack on Lubin. According to a police statement, the officer had gone to buy food just before the attack, “presumably leaving Lubin more exposed.”

Since the Oct. 7 attack, 59 Israeli police officers have been killed.