On this occasion, they believe being late is what saved their lives.
Rabbi Doris Dyen, her husband, Deane Root, and their friend Seymour Drescher told CBS News they were running behind to service at their Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, when a gunman walked in and began firing at members.
"If we had been there three minutes earlier, maybe two minutes earlier, we wouldn't be here," said Dyen.
They recalled the horrifying moment they pulled up to the Tree of Life synagogue and heard gunfire.
"There were shards of glass all over the sidewalk. And at the same moment, we heard ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom," said Dyen.
Drescher described what he saw.
"I see them waving, 'Don't go in, don't go.' Then someone else came running out and said, 'There are guns ... going off inside,'" he said.
Eleven people were killed. Six others were injured.
Authorities say 46-year-old Robert Bowers is responsible for the attack. He faces dozens of charges, and federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
A GoFundMe account has already raised half a million dollars for the congregation. Two Muslim groups also set up crowdfunding campaigns for the synagogue that have already raised tens of thousands of dollars.