October 31, 2019
SAN DIEGO – The Jewish and general communities are honoring the memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was murdered April 27 by a gunman who barged into Chabad of Poway and wounded three other people before running away and later being apprehended.
Exactly six months after the shooting attack that wounded Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, 8-year-old Noya Dahan, and her uncle Almog Peretz from Sderot, Israel, StandWithUs San Diego focused on the victims at a gala which was themed “Standing Together Against Anti-Semitism.”
Among those who addressed the crowd was Dr. Howard Kaye who “spoke from his heart about his late wife, and about the importance of standing with Israel,” according to a StandWithUs (SWU) news release.
“When I think of my incredible wife Lori, my mind immediately goes to something that many Jewish families sing every Friday night: Eshet Chayil,” Kaye said. “A women of valor, who can find? Indeed, a woman of valor IS hard to find. This summarizes Lori’s life. I would describe her as a very smart women and wife, who worked all day and night to sustain her home and our reputation; as well as giving generously to charity by helping individual people of all faiths, including Native American organizations, Cancer research; and disabled veteran groups. ‘Such a woman is worthy of praise.’ Lori was indeed, that beautiful woman of valor, and I miss her every single day.”
In a video clip Noya, now 9, “boldly shared the events of that fateful day; how she looked down to see her shoe filled with blood, how her uncle pulled her and other kids to safety and people around her started crying,” the news release continued. Noya proclaimed “I’m definitely happy to be Jewish! Nobody can tear us apart!”
Yosef Condiotti, SWU’s San Diego regional director, and dinner co-chairs Natalie Josephson, Jaime Feder, and Yamia Benhaim presented to Noya, her uncle Amog, and parents Israel and Eden Dahan a pair of Shabbat candlesticks because, Condiotti explained, “they bring light and peace into our homes every Shabbat. We pray that with this gift, you’ll have peace, nachat and shalom in your home and in your lives.’ The Dahan family had moved to San Diego to escape constant rocket attacks on their home in the southern Negev city of Sderot near Gaza.
The featured entertainer for the evening was Hagit Yaso, the Ethiopian-Israeli singer who rose to fame after winning Kokhav Nolad, Israel’s version of American Idol. Also from Sderot, Hagit knows the Dahan family. She was joined on stage by Noya and the children of Chabad of Poway, all holding Israeli flags in a tender and emotional show of resilience who sang Hatikvah.”
Among the 450 attendees of the gala dinner emceed by Barak Raviv were former Congressman Darrell Issa, San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry of San Diego, Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon, and Mayor Steve Vaus of Poway.
Vaus also is involved in a proposal brought forth by Chabad of Poway to rename Eva Drive in Poway as Lori Lynn Lane in memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that only two residences have driveways off the current Eva Drive and that the owners of both have agreed to the name change. So too has the owner of a 26-acre parcel at the end of the street, the newspaper reported.
Vaus said he believed the name change would have unanimous support on the City Council.
* Israel advocates stir StandWithUs crowd Roz Rothstein, the co-founder of StandWithUs, said the Jews and Gentiles who attended the Oct. 27 gala in San Diego stand on the shoulders of giants: people who survived the Holocaust, people who gave their lives to create the modern state of Israel, and the Gentiles who stood by the Jewish people in their times of need. She said the same kind of dedication and determination is needed to fight the rising tide of anti-Semitism.
Yosef Condiotti, SWU’s regional director, commented to applause, “When addressing the protection of Israel – whether it is on the field of combat or the field of public opinion, it is not about Democrat vs. Republican, it is not about religious vs. secular, it is not about Jewish vs. non-Jewish, and it is not about right versus left! It is about right versus wrong!”
Sara Tagger, now SWU’s campus strategy coordinator, told of her experience as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara when she heard a professor attacking Israel. “Because of my StandWithUs training, I spoke up to my professors. I was part of an amazing movement at UCSB that worked to defeat divestment every single year – and we did, and I encouraged new students to be involved.” Subsequently, as a student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Tagger said she has the tools to be bolder than ever, to speak up louder than ever, and to encourage her peers to do the same.
Among other presenters were Larry Elder, the syndicated talk show host, who told of his love for Israel, Mitch Danzig, who introduced Elder; Jonathan Valverde, founder of Latinos for Israel, who sang “The Star Spangled Banner;” Asaf Benhaim, who led a fundraising appeal; Israeli emissaries Idan Shlesinger and Michal Kalimi, who led the Hamotzi prayer, and the David Kates Orchestra which played through the dinner. Yaso sang “Halleluah,” “Halevai” “When You Believe” and “Kol HaOlam Kulo/ Od Yavo Shalom-Salaam.”
* Donald H. Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. He may be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org Obituaries in this column are sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg.