PINECREST (CBSMiami) – The family of murdered Miami journalist Steven Sotloff is remembering him Thursday at their Pinecrest home.

In lieu of a funeral, a memorial service for Sotloff is scheduled for Friday at 1:00 pm at Temple Beth Am. The public is welcome to attend.

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Sotloff’s long-time friend Barak Barafi spoke on the family’s behalf Wednesday.

The 31-year-old South Florida journalist was killed by Islamic extremists, U.S. officials reported.

“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.”

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Rabbi Terri Brookman stood by Shirley and Arthur Sotloff since their son was taken hostage last year and shared their pain.

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“[Arthur] broke down for the first time and really wept in my arms and I wept with him,” said Bookman. “And Shirley is on the floor. It’s overwhelming. This is her boy. [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.”

As a child, Sotloff went to school at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, where his mom is a preschool teacher.

Sotloff attended UCF and later moved to Israel to study. He got a dual American-Israeli citizenship and secretly practiced Jewish religion in captivity.

While being held hostage, Sotloff’s family had to conceal his connection to Israel and Judaism, erasing everything online that made mention of it.

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