The Chabad Poway Shooting

By Diane Benaroya

On Shabbat, the last day of Pesach, I went to Yizkor services at Chabad of San Marcos. We had just finished services at about 11:30am when there was a knock at the door. It was the Sheriff with the news that there had been a shooting at Poway Chabad. My heart sank. My youngest was a Bar mitzvah there. Chabad was our home after we left Israel and moved back to the states so many years ago.

Lori Kaye, z”l, Noya Dohan, Almog Peretz, and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein are the victims. 
Lori was remembered by her friend Audrey Jacobs, in a piece on Facebook as the news spread that she had died during the attack. “Lori, you were a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. You were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and generously gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. Your final good deed was jumping in front of Rabbi Goldstein to take the bullet and save his life,” Jacobs wrote. 

Two family members, 8-year-old Noya Dahan, and her uncle Along Peretz were injured in the attack. Originally from Sderot, the family fled their homeland to escape terrorism and radical thinking threatening their way of life. The same type of terrorism and radical thinking that met them in synagogue yesterday. 

In the face of terror, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein attempted to comfort his congregants, even while he sustained serious injuries.

As I watched the news of the day unfold and spoke with friends in the Jewish community here in San Diego, I wondered: When will the hate stop? We are sick of this hate fueled by ignorance. It’s pervasive and touches every aspect of our life’s as Jews and as human beings. How do we go forward with positive messages? How do we minimize the hate and anger? How do we get our representatives to fund mental health initiatives? Are we too busy with our lives that we don’t know what our children are doing online? How long does it take to radicalize a young man to become a White Supremacist?
When will the hate stop?

It’s time to come together as a community to show that we are strong. We are not afraid. And we will work together to combat antisemitism in all its forms. At today’s Holocaust Remembrance event at the JCC, I hope you will join your community to help heal both the wounds of the past, alongside our community grappling with the reality of today’s fresh wounds.

2 comments

  1. Leslee Simon

    Thank you for your thoughtful words, Diane. May all faith communities in San Diego County come together to bring us into peaceful times. May the injured heal soon and the grieving find comfort. Sincerely, Leslee Simon

  2. Deborah Vietor

    How do we as a community, a nation and a universe cease tyranny created by ignorant powerless fools, who attempt to manifest a totalitarian zoo? We are aware that only the most cowardly approach people during worship with weapons. As Jews we are armed by love and faith in G-d, a belief in humanity, education and community far more powerful than bullets and weapons. We are here to learn, educate, elevate and unify communities formed by those of all denominations and nationalities. Through continued outreach, education and love, we will continue to condemn hatred and antisemitism in all forms. We are unified through love and compassion to conquer this insidious weakness of hatred from those with a quest for power and destruction in our society. We combat oppression and fear just as our ancestors did, by standing up to tyranny, as we become stronger in our faith, performing good deeds and rebuilding thorough Tikkun Olam.Our strength is in numbers and in the face of tragedy, we continue to pray, mourning the loss of precious life through this senseless act of hatred. If we are involved in a race, let it be the human race. Our family extends deep condolences, love and compassion to all the families, the congregation and our community affected so deeply be this senseless act. With much Love, Deborah Vietor

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