John Ernest

POWAY SYNAGOGUE VICTIMS SHOWED COURAGE AND HEROISM IN FACE OF COWARDLY ATTACK

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Lori Kaye, the sole fatality, and injured survivors Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, Almog Perez, and Noya Dahan

Updated April 29 with information on Iraq War veteran Oscar Stewart, who chased the gunman out of the synagogue

April 28, 2019 (Poway) – When a gunman opened fire on unarmed worshippers and a rabbi inside the Chabad Congregation synagogue on Saturday, his victims displayed remarkable courage—saving many lives.  About 100 people were in the synagogue, but only four were struck, according to Sheriff Bill Gore.

 Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, a founding member of the synagogue, jumped between the gunman and Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, sacrificing her own life to save the spiritual leader, CNN reports. She had come to say a Kaddish prayer for the dead for her late mother, but now the prayer will be recited in her memory.

Rabbi Goldstein raised his hands and bullets tore through his fingers.  ““I saw a group of children in the banquet hall, including my granddaughter,” he told NBC TV after surgery, “not even knowing that my fingers were blown off, I got the kids and everyone out of the sanctuary safely.”  Outside the sanctuary, despite his bloody wounds, the Rabbi continued to deliver his Passover message and told his congregation, “We are united.”