Sotloff made aliyah and lived in Israel for a number of years before he was abducted in Syria. Barak Barafi, who spoke for the family, said that "Steve was no hero, like all of us, he was mere man who tried to find good concealed in a world of darkness and if it did not exist, he tried to create it."
The memorial will be held at Temple Beth Am, where Sotloff attended school and where his mother is a preschool teacher.
Rabbi Terri Brookman, who has supported the parents – Shirley and Arthur – since their son was abducted, said that the father "broke down for the first time and really wept in my arms and I wept with him. And Shirley is on the floor. It’s overwhelming. This is her boy. "
He said that Steven "talked about coming home and raising a family giving them grandchildren. All those dreams, it’s still hard to believe that they won’t see him grow up."
Sotloff, originally from Miami, Florida, published articles as a freelance journalist in Time, Foreign Policy, and other news outlets.
He joined Twitter in August 2012 while covering the developments in Libya. In September 2012 he documented his escape from Syrian army air strike on the outskirts of Aleppo.
Sotloff's last tweet regarding the situation in Syria was posted July 31, while his final tweet before his kidnapping was on August 3, 2013 – about the NBA.
He was captured several days later while working as a freelance journalist covering the ongoing civil war raging in Syra.