WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama spoke with the rabbi of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the weekend shooting in Tucson.
A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson’s Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached Monday in the wake of the Jan. 8 attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.
Giffords turned to Aaron after a visit to Israel in 2001 ignited an interest in her Judaism, and the two were close. Aaron performed the ceremony when Giffords married Cmdr. Mark Kelly, an astronaut, in 2007