Northern Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Chabad community responds to California shooting with Unity Sabbath

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Poway Chabad House keeps strong bonds with his native Brooklyn

May 3, 2019 By Francesca Norsen Tate

Chabad of Park Slope, responding to the horrific Poway Chabad House shooting on the concluding day of Passover last weekend, will host an Evening of Unity, Solidarity and Prayer at Congregation B’nai Jacob this Friday night.

The shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue, near San Diego, California, left one woman dead and several injured. Lori Kaye is reported to have been killed while saving the life of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, spiritual leader of the Poway Chabad synagogue, although he was shot in both hands.

Goldstein maintains strong ties to Brooklyn, where he was born and raised, and where many family members reside.

Rabbi Shimon Hecht, director of Chabad of Park Slope and spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jacob, attended school with Goldstein. Chabad of Park Slope is a sister organization to Chabad of Poway, under the umbrella of Chabad-Lubavitch international, an internationally-known Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement with a strong tradition of outreach.

The Chabad movement has its world headquarters here in Brooklyn. (Every year, thousands of rabbis convene and sit for a group photo at Chabad headquarters on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights during their five-day International Conference of Chabad Emissaries.)

Chabad of Park Slope will host an Evening of Unity, Solidarity and Prayer at Congregation B’nai Jacob, 401 9th St., this Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m., followed by a free Shabbat dinner open to everyone.

“Our hearts are shattered by the cold-blooded attack on our brothers and sisters—Jews of all walks of life gathered at Chabad-Lubavitch of Poway in celebration and prayer to the Almighty on Shabbat and the final day of Passover,” said Rabbi Menashe Wolf of Chabad of Park Slope. “We mourn the holy soul of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, and we pray for the healing of all the injured. At times like this we have to come together, in unity and prayer, and also in celebration of life.”

The evening will conclude with a call to action.

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“With the passing of Lori Kaye, the world became darker. We can only respond to darkness by adding in light,” said Hecht. “That’s why we’re asking that this Shabbat, go to your Chabad or local synagogue. Bring a friend and encourage others to #ShareShabbat. We invite everyone to join us at our Shabbat dinner to come together as a community and share the joy of life.”

The Shabbat dinner, which begins with a candle lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m. will feature guest speaker Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project.

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