Lori Gilbert Kaye has been identified as the 60-year-old woman who died during a passover celebration on April 27, when a white man with a semi-automatic weapon walked into the Chabad of Poway and released fire.
Kaye reportedly dived in front of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein during the chaos; Goldstein sustained a wound to the hand but is otherwise in stable condition. To The Jewish Press, Dr. Ronit Lev said, “Our rabbi … told everyone that she saved his life because she stood in front of him.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Kaye Lived in San Diego & Worked as a Senior Account Manager
According to her Facebook, Kaye was a lifelong resident of San Diego and worked as a Senior Account Manager at Pro Specialties Group Inc. Kaye, who has since been described by friends as a friend of the Chabad and an active member of the Jewish community, is survived by her husband and 22-year-old daughter.
In a tribute post by her friend, Audrey Jacobs, Jacobs lamented the loss, both on a personal and global level. She wrote,
Today at synagogue an anti-Semitic hate crime shot and killed my friend Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l, age 60. Lori you were a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. You were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. Your final good deed was taking the bullets for Rabbi Mendel Goldstein to save his life. Lori leaves behind a devastated husband and a 22-year-old daughter. When Lori was shot, she wasn’t next to her husband, Howard, who is a doctor. People screamed for help and he ran to immediately give CPR to the fallen victim, when he looked at who it was, HIS WIFE, he fainted.
For her bravery in a time of such terror and tragedy, Kaye has been hailed as a hero by countless people and publications. Israel’s minister of diaspora affairs, Naftali Bennett, released a statement that read in part,
“She sacrificed her own life, throwing herself in the path of the murderer’s bullets to save the life of the Rabbi. She has been described by those who knew her as an ‘Eshet Chayil,’ a ‘Woman of Valor,’ and I would add, a true Hero of Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and daughter, may they find great comfort in Lori’s tremendous example and courage.”
Dr. Lev spoke at length to The Jewish Press about Kaye, describing her as a “Zionist” who went to Kaddish on the first time on Saturday, because she wanted to honor her mother who had recently passed away and it was “important for her to be in a synagogue.”
Lev continued, “Her husband is a doctor in the community, and he heard the shooting. He performed resuscitation on his wife not knowing it was her. Then he saw her face and fainted.”