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One year later: Virtual memorial held for Poway Chabad victim, Lori Gilbert-Kaye

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 20:34:03-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV)-- Monday marks one year since the deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue. Today, Jewish communities around the world virtually celebrated the life of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, the woman who died while saving the Rabbi.

No one expected it on the last day of Passover, 2019. A teenage gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway during morning prayer. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, eight-year-old Noya Dahan, and her uncle, Almog Peretz were wounded.

"One of my friends... Lori Kaye is down," Minuu Anvari cried, just minutes after the shooting.

60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye died while shielding the Rabbi.

A day before the tragic anniversary, chabad.org hosted a memorial for Kaye. Her husband, Dr. Howard Kaye led the live video tribute.

"Lori was a beautiful person," he said.

Kindness is what got her killed. Even in death, it was evident. Dr. Kaye shared a surprising conversation he had with the mortuary director when they gave him a discount announced.

"They go 'Doctor. You don't understand. For the last 20 years, Lori was at every Jewish funeral, especially for those people who did not have families. She always had a kind word or quote for them. We're not giving you a discount. We're giving Lori the employee discount,'" Dr. Kaye recalled.

In a separate anti-Semitism webinar, Jonathan Morales, the off-duty Border Patrol agent attending prayer, recalled his memory of that day.

"As the subject attempted to flee the scene, I was able to strike his vehicle several times," Morales said.

He, too, honored his friend Lori Gilbert-Kaye, asking all of us to share compassion, especially during this global pandemic.

"A way we can continue to honor Lori is by helping others that are vulnerable," Morales said. "We can offer to do their grocery shopping or help them with errands. This is something that Lori would do today if she were here with us."

Those who knew Kaye say her love and kindness were infinite.

"She helped all people. And all nationalities. Of all religions," her husband said.

Despite the tragedy, that is how they will always remember her.