Morris At 15 Video On YouTube
than 900 people showed up from around the country for his
funeral. The rabbi said more than 600 of them were under the
age of 20, many who flew in on a day's notice from out-of-state
colleges. There were more than 300 of his friends at the memorial
two days before, where Rabbi Farber said he was expecting
to counsel maybe 5 to 10 people. Letters and notes from people
came everyday for months telling of some act of kindness Morris
did, how important he made them feel and what a special relationship
he had with each person. It turns out that even the funeral
director’s daughter knew him. She had the parking spot
next to Morris in the high school’s student parking
lot. He would wait for her and back her car into her spot
because she couldn’t do it herself and backing in was
the only way anyone could get out during the rush at the end
of the day. Friends who weren't able to make it home in time
held services for him in Gainesville, Duke University and
in Israel. There’s a group dedicated to him on Facebook
with more than 550 members where friends continue to leave
messages to him.
group was actually formed before it happened to pay homage
to Morris' insights, goofy thoughts and words of wisdom, like
"know yourself, be yourself." and "who would
win in a fight? Mattress Giant or Mr. Clean?"
College student from Dade
fatally wounded in apparent accident
Posted on Mon, Jan. 21, 2008
By JENNIFER LEBOVICH
Morris Stein spent the first 19 years of his life growing up and playing
baseball in Northeast Miami-Dade.
Earlier this month, he started his first semester at Tallahassee Community
College. He wanted to be an entrepreneur. On Thursday, he died from
a shotgun wound to the chest.
The gun was fired inside his apartment by one of his roommates, and
the shooting is believed to be an accident. Tallahassee police are
In South Florida friends mourned the teen, who will be buried Monday
morning. About 300 gathered at an impromptu memorial in the chapel
at Beth Torah in Northeast Miami-Dade on Saturday, his mother said.
Stein graduated last year from Dr. Michael M. Krop High School.
''He made everyone feel good,'' said his mother,
Robin Stein. ``He was generous, and he was genuine. He didn't
care who you were or where you were from, he made you feel good. He
was a friend to everyone.''
He was compassionate to everyone, his mother said.
When a friend of Morris' came out, some of the other guys didn't want
to hang out with the teen, Morris' mom said.
'He said, ``He's our friend, he's the same kid we've hung out with
our whole lives. If you won't hang out with him, you won't hang out
with me,' '' Robin Stein said.
One friend, 18-year-old Logan Jaffe, remembered him as a problem solver.
''He was always the one to take any problem anyone was having and
put things in perspective, so you could see beyond your point of view,''
Jaffe said Stein loved animals and camping. He had three dogs
and two cats and would often rescue strays. ''He couldn't bear to
see anyone in pain,'' his mother said.
Stein grew up playing baseball, mostly first base, and spent a few
summers in high school at camp, where he volunteered in the
community. He later worked as a lifeguard at a camp.
Morris was accepted to Florida State University, then decided to go
to school in Boston and then changed his plans again. He planned to
start at FSU in the summer to study finance and accounting, his mother
His mother said it was fitting his funeral would be on Martin
Luther King Holiday. Morris Stein kept a picture of King by his bed,
because he ''believed in human rights and diversity,'' Robin
In addition to his mother, he is survived by his grandmother, Beverly
Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Beth Torah, 20350 NE 26th Ave.,
Miami Herald staff writer Sarah Tompkins contributed
to this report.
In the Jewish tradition, a boy becomes a man at the age of 13, meaning
he can take responsibility within the community and participate
fully in religious services. Morris went through this rite of passage
but took responsibility at a much younger age, doing mitzvot
(good deeds) all year long: recycling, picking up litter, treating
others with kindness and fairness and being a good and loyal friend.
It was easy to be impressed by him.
age 11, his friend Tarique’s mom took him and Tarique to the
Youth Fair. Two years later she still talked about how Morris went
after a piece of paper on the floor blowing away in the wind. She
said “he went after it like it was a thousand-dollar bill.”
At home there’d be stray pieces of plastic and paper in the
laundry from what Morris found on the street and stuffed in his
pockets planning to dispose of properly. He endured a lot of friendly
teasing about his concern for the environment. But inevitably the
friends who joked about it became more careful about what they tossed
on the ground.
one little league game, a boy maybe a year or two older than Morris
was sitting in the bottom row of the bleachers. The kid crumbled
up and threw his pizza paper on the ground while Morris was on deck
in the batter’s circle. Morris, who noticed everything, saw
through the fence and told him “pick it up.” He answered
that he would if Morris hit a home run. Morris did and when he made
it to the plate he said, “now pick it up” and the kid,
smiling, picked it up. Everyone thought it was pretty funny –
and very cool.
and consistently taking responsibility. Quietly and consistently
taking action. Morris raised the awareness of everyone around him
through his example. That is one of the highest levels of tzedakah,
of social justice – of tikun olam, making the world
a better place.
the short time he was here, Morris made the world a better place
for everyone whose life he touched. He was bound for greatness.
of his own writings can be read on this site by clicking on the
view of corporate responsibility and social justice, written at
essay about his love of diversity
essay for UMass of Boston about the importance camp had
in his life
His last essay written a month before it happened about the appropriate
use of power and strength (Booker T. Washington quote)
From Morris' composition booklet – Journal written on
Sept 11, 2002 (11 days from his 14th birthday)