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Tragedy in Poway - Our Response

Sunday, 28 April, 2019 - 7:00 pm

23rd of Nissan, 5779

April 28th, ‘19

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. As you have heard there was a shooting yesterday at Chabad of Poway where tragically a wonderful person, Lori Kaye, who was well known to my family was murdered because she was Jewish. There were additional casualties including a colleague of mine, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, as well as Noya Dahan, and Almog Peretz. Countless miracles and heroic accounts are coming to light, however, the ‘fog of war’ is still very much in evidence.

Action Items:

  1. I have been contacted by hundreds of people, most of whom we know, many of whom we don’t know, offering moral support and asking what needs to be done. Thank you for reaching out! I apologize that I haven’t yet been able to respond to everyone. For those who want to DO something – TONIGHT there will be a candlelight vigil at Valle Verde Park in Poway (which is just a block from Chabad of Poway).  Rabbi Goldstein will be there as will the Mayor of Poway, Steve Vaus. The address of the Park is 16899 St. Andrews Drive, Poway, 92064. The vigil begins at 7pm. There will be plenty of security, but parking is limited so an early arrival is recommended.
  1. Tomorrow at 2pm the memorial service for Lori Kaye will be held at Chabad of Poway, 16934 Chabad Way, Poway, 92064. Following the memorial service at 4pm there will be a funeral service at El Camino Memorial Park, 5600 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, 92121, in the Garden of Eden section. The memorial service will almost certainly be filled to overflowing, but overflow space outside will be provided.
  1. Those who would like to make a donation to Chabad of Poway can do so by logging onto They are trying to raise money to help defray the funeral expenses and for the necessary repairs.
  1. Fighting the darkness with light. A recurring theme that we have discussed numerous times. The Rebbe taught us that when an unspeakable act of darkness occurs we fight back (and win) by adding light! And so we will act on our pain and turn it into action. Specifically we will seek ways to help others. A. In this regard we are asking all women to commit to lighting Shabbat candles this coming week (7:15pm in Carlsbad, CA) in memory of Lori Kaye, who – may G-d have mercy – cannot light them herself this week. The women must be her emissary in adding light! B. As for the men; Rabbi Goldstein was wounded and lost one of his fingers and for now doesn’t have use of his hands – so we must use our hands to put on Tefillin in honor of his complete and speedy recovery. C. We want to show the world that we will win the war with goodness and kindness. How? We are asking our friends and neighbors to join us in the synagogue this coming Saturday, May 4th, at 10am. We are proclaiming this Shabbat a Stand With Chabad of Poway service. We will mourn together, but we will also celebrate together, as we remember, “Am Yisroel Chai!,” The Nation of Israel LIVES.

Please, respond to this Mitzvah appeal by responding to this message. We are going to try to keep track of the added Mitzvos and would like to know if you are planning on joining us.

It is true that anti-Semitism still exists. But it is also true that we live in an amazing country surrounded by friends and neighbors who love us and look after us (as we do with them). Our Carlsbad Police Department, as well as the San Diego County Sheriff, and many other law enforcement agencies are the angels on our shoulders. They have their protective eyes on us. The goodness and kindness that resides in people, the G-dly spark, the soul, is alive and well. We must focus on what binds us together as human beings. We must reveal the G-dly spark in each of us, and then we will put an end, once and for all, to the madness of anti-Semitism! Most importantly, the Master of the Universe is our Loving Parent. He WILL watch over us and send His divine blessings, and we will continue to work to create a vessel into which His blessings may reside.  

Please note that there is NOTHING more important to us than the safety and security of those who attend Chabad at La Costa. We are adding safety measures and will continue to do so. We are moving forward with our Federal Homeland Security Grant, which will harden our facility. Our staff and volunteers will continue with their training. We will have armed guards as well as other measures recommended by the experts in this field. We will leave nothing to happenstance.

I know that many are shaken up due to this tragedy striking so close to home. Remember, we are here for YOU. We will always be here for you, just as you have been here for us. We are a FAMILY. We stick together through thick and thin. If you need to talk let me know.

In conclusion; May G-d send comfort to Lori Kaye’s family, friends, and community! May the Almighty send a complete and speedy recovery to Rabbi Goldstein and the rest of the wounded! And may the Creator bless all of us to see the end of all human hatred and suffering with the speedy arrival of His Righteous Moshiach!


Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort

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