Lori Gilbert Kaye, murdered in neo-Nazi attack at Poway synagogue laid to rest
Hundreds gathered at Chabad of Poway synagogue Monday to honor Lori Gilbert Kaye, with many of them showing support for a community in mourning and denouncing hate and anti-Semitism.
19-year-old neo-Nazi John T. Earnest burst into Chabad of Poway on the last day of Passover and opened fire as about 100 people were worshipping inside, murdering Lori and injuring three others.
Witnesses said Lori, 60, heroically stepped in to protect rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, 57, who suffered injuries to both hands and lost his right index finger in the attack.
Howard Kaye, a physician who briefly tended to his wife after the shooting before fainting, said she had erected a peace pole on their property. It says, “May peace prevail on Earth,” in five languages, he said.
“That is the universal message of Lori,” he said.
Their daughter, 22-year-old Hannah, wore her mother’s pink dress as she stood on the lectern and recalled her mother, whom she described as, “my best friend, my greatest advocate and my dance partner.”
Hannah said her mother baked loaves of challah to celebrate Shabbat nearly every week. She often delivered loaves of the braided bread to people’s homes and left them on people’s cars and inside mailboxes, her daughter said.
“Her light has reached all crevices of our planet,” Hannah said.
Rabbi Goldstein spoke at the end of the funeral service. On Saturday, “we saw the darkest of humanity,” he said. At the same time, he said, “we saw the heroic efforts of humanity.”
“It’s not going to break us,” he said. “It’s going to lift us up.”
In the cemetery, Goldstein addressed Kaye: “You’re following the footsteps of great martyrs of all history.”
He said he doesn’t understand the events that occurred Saturday at the temple.
“Your life was sacrificed,” he said. “My life was spared. I promise, Lori, it wasn’t in vain.”