Grief counselors deploy in East Valley deaths

In response to what Tempe Police are investigating as a murder-suicide of the Butwin family, Jewish Family & Children’s Service is deploying its Jewish Crisis Response Team today to Temple Emanuel of Tempe, where the family were members, and to the East Valley Jewish Community Center, where the youngest child was to have been a summer camper, according to Dvora Entin, JFCS’ Aleinu program coordinator.

“This is why we created the team,” she said.

Team members are to be available to offer grief counseling to those attending a 7 p.m. Service of Grief, at the Reform congregation today (June 6).

Word of the tragedy, in which police suspect that James Butwin, 47, a member of Emanuel’s board, killed his wife and three children and then himself, spread via email and phone sending ripples of shock and grief through the congregation.

If what police suspect is true, the victims were his wife, Yafit, 40; daughter, Malissa, 16; and sons Daniel, 14, and Matthew, 7.

Although autopsies on the bodies found in a burning SUV on Saturday, June 2, reportedly failed to identify the bodies, the SUV was registered to the Butwins and was missing from their Tempe home, Tempe Police reported.

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