samantha woll

A prominent Detroit synagogue board president was found stabbed to death early Saturday outside her home. Police have yet to identify a motive or a suspect in her killing.

Samantha Woll, 40, was found outside her home in a neighborhood east of downtown Detroit. She was the board president of Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, worked for Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and was on the reelection campaign of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, also a Democrat

Religious leaders and public officials decried the killing.

The American Jewish Committee said it was “heartbroken” at the news, calling her a “ray of sunlight to all who knew her” and “a passionate Muslim-Jewish bridge builder.” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recalled meeting with Woll during a dedication of a renovated synagogue, a project he said she led “with great pride and enthusiasm.”

Statement from detroit police chief


The Detroit Police released a statement on Saturday saying that a woman had been found unresponsive in the morning on a street east of downtown and that she had been declared dead at the scene. The statement did not name Ms. Woll, but the location was near her home address. The woman had multiple stab wounds, the statement said, and officers observed a trail of blood that led to the victim’s home, where the police said they believed the attack occurred.

On Saturday evening, the Michigan State Police confirmed that they were investigating Ms. Woll’s death with the Detroit Police. Authorities are asking anyone with information to come forward. In

statement, Detroit Police Chief James E. White urged patience with the investigation and cautioned against drawing conclusions.


Before leading the synagogue, Ms. Woll worked extensively in Democratic state politics. She was a political director for Dana Nessel, the attorney general of Michigan. She was also a campaign manager for State Senator Stephanie Chang and a deputy on the staff of U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, according to Ms. Woll’s LinkedIn profile.

“I am shocked, saddened and horrified to learn of Sam’s brutal murder,” Ms. Nessel said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Sam truly used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement on X that Ms. Woll had been one of the city’s “great young leaders’ ‘ and recalled a moment just weeks ago when they celebrated the renovation of the synagogue, which Ms. Woll had helped guide.

Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community,” Mr. Duggan said. “This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death.”


Mr. Moss said Ms. Woll had been highly involved in Jewish community activism and that she was always trying to get more people to participate, adding that she had been proud of the renovations as a way to create a more “innovative” atmosphere.

“She was a burst of energy and optimism,” Mr. Moss said. “She was just somebody we all admired.” She was not married and did not have children, he said.

“Sam is already missed, and the brutality of her death is beyond words,” Ms. Chang wrote on Facebook. “Detroit, Michigan and the world were so lucky to have her light shine for the 40 years we had her.”

The Downtown Synagogue said on Facebook that it did not have more information on Ms. Woll’s death, but that it would share more when it became available.

“May her memory be a blessing,” the organization wrote.

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