August 19, 2019

Local Chabad Centers Respond to Poway Attack

A makeshift memorial was placed by a light pole a block away from a shooting incident where one person was killed at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, California, U.S. April 27, 2019. REUTERS/John Gastaldo

The Chabad community is a close-knit one. In the wake of the April 27 shooting during the Passover service at Chabad of Poway, the Journal reached out to L.A.-area Chabad centers to speak with their leaders about their responses to an attack on one of their own.


Rabbi Amitai Yemini, Chabad Israel Center (Pico-Robertson)

[We] join the Jewish community worldwide in standing in solidarity with Chabad of Poway. We mourn the loss of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a heroine who gave her life in defense of all that is right and good, and wish a speedy recovery to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Noya Dahan and [Almog] Peretz.


“This is an attack on all of us as a whole. We are heartbroken.” — Rabbi Levi Begun


Hate, in any form, is ugly and the antithesis of Judaism and the tenets of Chabad Lubavitch. Anti-Semitism and intolerance must be rejected by people of all faiths. In its place, let us stand in unity with a commitment to increase goodness and kindness with fast and firm decisions to actualize that commitment in our daily lives.


Rabbi Avraham Zajac, Chabad South of La Cienega

Firstly, we express our deepest condolences to the entire Kaye family for the killing of Lori. We pray for the healing of all wounded, both for the wounds that are visible and for the wounds that are not. And we commend and are all very inspired by Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and the entire Chabad of Poway community. We all must take concrete action to better secure our places of worship, schools [and] community centers; to increase our acts of mitzvahs — acts that express tolerance and respect to all mankind. We need to bring into this world more light — light that will banish all darkness. May we together usher in the Messianic era. Amen.


Rabbi Levi Begun, Chabad Culver City

 This is an attack on all of us as a whole. We are heartbroken. However, we have the power to rise above. Not allowing evil to prevail. It is only through adding in light that we push away darkness. Acts of random kindness that push away acts of random evil.


Rabbi Moshe Levin, Bais Bezalel Chabad (Pico-Robertson)


It’s understandable that the tragedy that struck the Jewish community in Poway resonated with each of us as something personal. We identify not only with the pain, but also with the trauma and fear that this kind of horrible hatred creates. Let’s identify with the incredible courage and strength the Poway community has displayed in the face of terror. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, an absolute hero who risked his life to protect his community, is asking us to stop a second and think. Be strong. Be united. They can’t break us.

Let’s ask ourselves: “What can we do to add in light?” A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. We need light, friendship and warmth. You can see [Lori Gilbert-Kaye’s] gentle nature in her eyes, a soldier of light, who has built her community from Day One with a magnanimous and enthusiastic spirit. We don’t want her place empty in the synagogue this week. We want more soldiers of light and friendship and kindness to combat the darkness with goodness and kindness to bring Moshiach.


Rabbi Leibel Korf, Chabad of Los Feliz

Our reaction to such despicable, heinous acts of hatred is to overwhelm the world with light by increasing in our
acts of goodness and kindness. I will encourage the community not to allow
them to succeed in having us falter or bend in any way. We will continue to bring the message of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to always respond to negativity by doing acts of goodness and kindness. This Shabbat, we call on people to attend your
local Chabad.


Rabbi Levi Cunin, Chabad of Malibu

Lori Gilbert-Kaye was a bridge of love. This is a battle between light and darkness. As emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we are united by our joint commitment to win this battle by continuing Lori’s bridge of love and light. We call out to our fellow brethren to join us by taking on a new mitzvah, an act of goodness and kindness. Together, we will illuminate
the world by transforming the darkness into light.