Samantha Woll, a Democratic activist and prominent Jewish lay leader in Detroit, was stabbed to death outside her home.
Police found Woll, 40, at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in the city’s Lafayette Park neighborhood, local media said. She had been stabbed multiple times and was unresponsive. A trail of blood led to her home, which police believe may be the scene of the crime, the Detroit Free Press reported. No motive was known.
Woll’s murder comes at a time of high alert for U.S. Jews, following Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel Oct. 7 and widespread protests against Israel’s ensuing war in Gaza. A public call by a former Hamas leader for global protests against Jews caused some Jewish institutions to close or fortify themselves last week, including in the Detroit area, which is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities in the United States.
Local authorities offered no indication of a connection between current events and Woll’s murder, and Jewish leaders cautioned against jumping to conclusions. “As we mourn her tragic passing, we urge the community to refrain from speculation and allow law enforcement to gather facts,” the Anti-Defamation League’s Michigan office said in a statement on X. [Continue reading…]