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A tribute to Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l



August 8, 1958 - April 27, 2019


Tribute written by former StandWithUs San Diego Director, Audrey Jacobs.

On Saturday, April 27th, at Chabad of Poway synagogue, an anti-Semitic murderer shot and killed our dear friend Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l, age 60. Lori was a jewel of our community, a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. Lori, you were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. You were a giver. Your legacy will be your countless good deeds. Your final act of kindness was taking the bullets meant for Rabbi Goldstein and giving your life.

Lori was a native San Diegan and live-long member of the Jewish community. Lori was a member of Congregation Beth Israel growing up and she attended Patrick Henry High School. She then attended UCLA. She took a year off after college to travel the United States with the Up With People dance group #76A to empower youth to be positive agents of change through community unity, support and engagement. She had a career in finance at Wells Fargo and then left corporate America to raise her daughter, Hannah, now 22 and also attending UCLA.

Lori gave her time and money and energy to countless causes around the world. Her reach went far beyond the Jewish community. She truly loved charities around the world including, Susan Koman, Friendship Circle, Chai Lifeline, and so many more. Lori had a special connection to Israel and would always send money or mail packages to those in need in Israel and around the world. She bought so many trees in Israel as gifts for special occasions, the Jewish National Fund announced they were planting a forest of 1,000 tree in Israel in Lori’s memory. She was a friend and supporter of StandWithUs.

Lori made the best sweetest challah and would bake it every Friday for Shabbat. She shared her challah with hundreds of people and hosted hundreds of people at her Shabbat and holiday table. She loved decorating and setting the table and making everything look just right for the occasion. Most of all she was a gracious hostess to her guests, friends and strangers.

Lori leaves behind a devastated husband Howard and a daughter Hannah.

Lori died on Shabbat. Lori died on Passover. Lori died in a synagogue. And Lori died saving our Rabbi.

She died as a kedush, a holy person sanctifying God’s name. She did her part.


The question is how are we, the people who knew Lori and are meeting her through her memory will make the world a better place? By doing an act of kindness in her memory.

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