Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is a religious leader at the San Diego County synagogue where a shooting took place on April 27. In fact, Goldstein was one of three people injured in the shooting, sustaining a hand wound. Another woman, who has yet to be identified, was killed in the shooting. The suspect, John Earnest, is in custody.
Per The Los Angeles Times, services were taking place on Saturday when a white man with a semi-automatic weapon entered the synagogue and began to shoot. Goldstein was not only delivering the sermon, but is also the owner of the synagogue itself, called Chabad of Poway.
Goldstein was taken to a hospital to treat his wounds, but is confirmed to be in stable condition. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Goldstein Was One of Three Injured in the Shooting; Another Woman Was Killed
According to The Los Angeles Times, Goldstein was shot in the hand at some point during the shooting, making him one of three injured; another older woman was killed, marking one casualty in the tragic event.
The Chabad of Poway was founded by Goldstein in 1986, according to The Los Angeles Times. The synagogue is technically a branch of Lubavitch, which is a part of Orthodox Judaism’s Hasidic movement. It describes itself as a location where “traditional Jewish values are brought to life in a joyous, non-judgmental atmosphere.”
Goldstein is originally from Brooklyn, New York, according to his Facebook. He studied Torah at Rabbinical College of America.
2. Goldstein Reportedly Continued to Give His Sermon After Being Wounded, Telling Others to Remain Calm
The Los Angeles Times reports that Goldstein continued to deliver his sermon after he was injured, encouraging others in the synagogue to remain strong.
Synagogue member Minoo Anvari told the publication, “The rabbi and two other people were injured.” Anvari continued, “One message from all of us in our congregation is that we are standing together. We are getting stronger. Never again. You can’t break us. We are strong…. [But] why? The question is, why? People are praying.”
Anvari also told CNN, “He continued his speech…We are strong. We are united. They can’t break us.”
3. Goldstein Is Originally From New York
Goldstein hails from Brooklyn, where his family had deep roots in his Jewish community growing up. According to The New York Daily News, Goldstein’s father was a pivotal member in growing the Hasidic community in Crown Heights. Known as “Uncle Yossi,” he was a lieutenant of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the publication reports.
Per The New York Daily News, “Uncle Yossi” also served as a teacher and administrator at a number of Jewish schools in New York throughout his career. Goldstein’s father and mother now live in Poway to be near their son.
4. Goldstein Spoke Out About the Christchurch Shooting in New Zealand
In March, following the Christchurch mass shooting in two mosques that left over 50 dead, Goldstein posted a Facebook message condemning the attack.
Goldstein’s post reads,
With what took place in New Zealand, it is our duty to recognize and be clear that this is an act of pure evil. We read in shuls around the world yesterday Parshat Zechor, to remind us of Amalek. After fleeing Egypt the Jewish refugees were attacked viciously by Amalek, for absolutely no reason, just out of hatred and pure evil. Attacking innocent people is abhorrent! It is abhorrent when it is a shul in Pittsburg and it is abhorrent when it is in a Mosque in New Zealand! Every human being is created in the image of G-d. Human life is precious. Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of New Zealand.
May we get ready for the holiday of Purim with much joy, praying for better and greater times
5. Goldstein’s Daughter Was Married Two Weeks Ago
Goldstein has a family that includes his wife and daughter, who was recently married. In a Facebook post celebrating his daughter’s wedding, Goldstein shared an anecdote about what it meant to be a “family man.”
He wrote in part,
“I got a compliment last night . I was told I seem to be a good “family man.” That got me thinking that I never heard anyone use the term ‘family woman.’ (And my wife confirmed that while she spends a lot more time with the kids than I do, she never got that compliment!) It was clear to me that the reason is because what is obvious doesn’t need to be stated. The woman practically IS the family. What she is so good at and what comes more naturally to her- being there, nourishing, ensuring that everyone’s needs are met-is much more of a task and effort to the man, and so when a man exerts himself that much extra, he gets a compliment, while for her its a given.”