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Message from Wounded Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein

By, DEBKAfile & JTA Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the spiritual leader of the Chabad of Poway near San Diego, spoke on Sunday a day after being wounded in the shooting attack on the synagogue. "It's not even 24 hours since the unthinkable, unfathomable terrorist attack occurred at Chabad of Poway. It was yesterday as we were finishing the reading of the Torah for the last day of Passover," said the rabbi, who recalled seeing Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was murdered in the attack. "I turned around, and then I heard the very first shot. I instinctively turned around to try to see what's going on, and I locked eyes with this terrorist, this murderer, evil human being standing there. As he turned the rifle on me, and I lifted my hands to protect my face, he shot a couple of rounds off, taking off my right finger and severely damaging my index finger which we hope will survive this." Chabad congregant Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, died in Saturday's shooting. The incident is being treated as a hate crime, and the gunman, John Earnest, 19, was charged Sunday with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Goldstein recalled shouting as loud as he could to get all the members of the synagogue who were present to leave. "Miraculously, his gun jammed, and there was a border patrol agent who recently discovered his Judaism. Jonathan was there. As soon as he heard the commotion, he was able to get access to a gun, and he pursued the shooter, who got away in the car, and fortunately, the police were able to apprehend him. "I went outside where the congregation was huddled together, and I got up on a chair, and I told loud and clear, with my fingers bleeding profusely, saying, `Am Yisrael Chai! Nothing is going to take us down. This is what the Rebbe has taught us. This is what we live with. We are going to stand tall. We are going to stand proud of who we are. We are going to get through this.'" President Donald Trump placed a condolence call to Goldstein. "He spoke about his love of peace and Judaism and Israel." The rabbi said he was "amazed" to hear from an American president, and the call lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. "He was so comforting," the rabbi said. Trump said the country stood in solidarity with the Jewish community. "Tonight, America's heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in California, just happened," he told supporters at a rally in Wisconsin. Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate which must be defeated." Elected officials across the political spectrum have condemned Saturday's violence, which coincided with the final day of Passover and came six months after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people. The suspect called 911 shortly afterward to say he was involved in the shooting at Chabad of Poway, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. When an officer reached him on a roadway, "the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody," Nisleit said. The officer found an AR-type rifle in the front passenger seat. Trump said the country stood in solidarity with the Jewish community. "Tonight, America's heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in California, just happened," he told supporters at a rally in Wisconsin. Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate which must be defeated." "American Jews are mostly liberal and anti-gun. Insane," said Rafaeli, a commenter to one news story. "Jews need to defend themselves. History shows this clearly. We cannot rely on anyone but ourselves. There are so many white Europeans and Americans even American Jews who are so anti-Israel and anti- Jewish it blows my mind, "Is this a hangover from the mediaeval days of anti-Judaism? These guys do not wanna know facts nor modern realities. They hate the Jews period and wish them all dead. They wish Israel and do not grant any legitimacy at all to Israel as a modern state."

First Swastikas, Then Synagogue Attack: the US is No Safe Haven for Israeli Family

By Reuters & Israel Hayom

For one family caught up in the California synagogue shooting, a move from Israel to the United States in search of a safer life has been a journey "from fire to fire." Israel Dahan and three of his five children were at Shabbat services at Congregation Chabad in Poway, near San Diego, on Saturday when a gunman opened fire, killing a woman and wounding three others in what local authorities deemed a hate crime. Dahan, speaking on Israel Radio on Sunday, said his family was no stranger to violence, having lived in Israel in Sderot, a town on the Gaza border that has been a frequent target of Palestinian rocket attacks. "We came from fire to fire," he said. "We left Sderot because of the shelling. My house was hit several times. My mother's house, my mother-in-law's house were hit several times. I was also wounded several times. … We wanted to move far away." Dahan's 8-year-old daughter, Noya, was wounded in the synagogue shooting, on the last day of Passover, as was his brother-in-law. "I began to shout that people should flee," Dahan said about the initial moments of the attack. "Thank God his gun jammed." Eden Dahan, Noya's mother, said her brother Almog saved the lives of her daughter and the other children in the synagogue. Eden said her neighbor's 5-year-old daughter Yuli began to run toward the shooter and Almog had been hit by a bullet when he ran over to her and picked her up. "He grabbed her and ran toward my girls. He found Noya, my daughter, grabbed her hand with Yuli still in his arms and as soon as he grabbed Noya, he sustained shrapnel from the bullet. She sustained it near her eye and was wounded in the leg. With all of the mayhem and the blood, he ran with them toward the synagogue's emergency exit." She said Almog took all the children to the rabbi's house next door.

According to Eden, it was at this point that Almog realized his niece Leanne was missing and he risked his life to go back into the synagogue to look for her. Eden noted that Leanne had gotten locked inside a bathroom stall and had been unable to get out. "Almog saved my daughters, he saved all the children. He just didn't think about anything except how to save the children. He's a hero. It's just crazy." Israel Dahan said his family had been living in Poway for the past three years, and that it was not the first time they had been the victim of a hate crime. In 2015, the Dahans were residing in Mira Mesa, about 10 miles from Poway, when swastikas were daubed on their house and vehicle during the Passover holiday. A local news report at the time said the family moved to the United States in 2014 seeking a safer environment for their children. "But that's life," Israel said, recalling the swastika incident and how he had briefly locked eyes with the synagogue assailant. Asked whether he regretted their move from Israel, he said: "No. We love America. … It can happen anywhere – in any mall, and any hospital and any family gathering and in any place. We are strong. We were born to be strong."

Alleged Poway Synagogue Shooter Lives with Parents; Thinks Jews are Taking Over the World


The 19-year-old alleged gunman at a Poway, California synagogue lived with his parents and said in a manifesto that he thinks that Jews are planning to take over the world. John Earnest also claimed that he set fire to a mosque in Escondido, California in the weeks after the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a claim which is under investigation. A nursing student, Earnest is on the dean's list at California State University, San Marcos. Earnest was yelling anti-Semitic slurs when he entered the synagogue, according to the New York Times, reportedly including that Jews were "ruining the world." He said in a manifesto posted on 8Chan, a conspiracy theory message board, that he was inspired by the Tree of Life synagogue gunman along with the New Zealand mosque shooter. He wrote in his manifesto, according to "I do not care about the debt-based currency that Jews like to pretend is money. I do not care for the bread and circus that Jewry has used to attempt to pacify my people. I willingly sacrifice my future—the future of having a fulfilling job, a loving wife, and amazing kids. I sacrifice this for the sake of my people. OUR people. I would die a thousand times over to prevent the doomed fate that the Jews have planned for my race." He also used several anti-Semitic tropes and themes in his manifesto, including that Jews control the media and financial institutions. "Every Jew is responsible for the meticulously planned genocide of the European race. They act as a unit, and every Jew plays his part to enslave the other races around him—whether consciously or subconsciously. Their crimes are endless," he also wrote, adding that he is a Christian and blames all Jews for the murder of Jesus. He called on others to "take a stand" and follow in his footsteps. Earnest's father is a high school science teacher, and he has two sisters and a brother. Police raided his parents' home shortly after the shooting.

A 15-year-old Teen Started GoFundMe Campaign for Chabad of Poway


On the Shabbat morning of April 27, a 19-year-old with a gun killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injured several others at the Chabad of Poway outside of San Diego. But before the sun had set and observant Jews were able to see the news, another teenager decided to take action. The 15-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his first name, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that while he had "never been to Poway," and doesn't personally subscribe to the rules of Shabbat, he didn't want to waste any time in helping raise money. "I thought it was important to get it up and to run as soon as possible," said Cameron, who asked to be identified only as someone who lives across the country from California. GoFundMe certifies that donations made through their site always go to the intended beneficiaries, and Cameron said that the company had indeed reached out to confirm that the funds would be sent directly to Chabad of Poway. "I can't control or see the money, all I do is edit the page," he told JTA. Asked what motivated him to move so quickly, Cameron noted that the only thing worse than a tragedy, he says, is "when you can't do anything about it." At the time of Israel News Faxx's publication, the GoFundMe effort had raised $73,654.

Chabad Worried About More Anti-Semitic Terror Attacks

By Israel Hayom
Chabad leaders worldwide are warning Jewish communities about the possibility of more anti-Semitic terrorist attacks like the San Diego synagogue shooting. In a message put out after the shooting on the last night of Passover, which claimed the life of Lori Kaye, Chabad leaders said that "our regional leaders are very worried about the security of every Chabad house and center in hundreds of communities in the U.S. and throughout the world." Chabad expressed its gratitude to the municipal and national agencies that worked closely with the organization to ensure the safety of community members. Nevertheless, the statement warned, "Anti-Semitic violence in the U.S. has risen to a level that cannot be ignored. We are asking city council members and state legislators, federal agencies, media outlets, college professors, university leaders, and schoolteachers to take responsibility and root out the gangrene [of anti-Semitism] that threatens the core values of this country." Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, one of the senior rabbinical figures in the Chabad organization, said, "The warning bells of recent events are tolling, and we call on leaders from both political sides to stop the dangerous spiral of anti-Semitism."

Currency used in Theresienstadt Ghetto donated to National Library of Israel


Currency used in the Theresienstadt Ghetto was donated to the National Library of Israel. The six bills featuring a Star of David and a sketch of Moses holding the Ten Commandments were received by the National Library days before Israel's Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. They are worth a total of 263 Kronen, the currency of the ghetto, which was located in northwestern Czechoslovakia. Every ghetto resident was forced to convert his money and some property into the currency of the camp or ghetto in which he was imprisoned. If someone managed to escape, he then had no way to purchase food or clothes. The bills were donated by Ruth Brass of Britain in honor of her father, the late Lionel Schalit, a prominent Zionist and community activist and a leader in the European Maccabi Movement. "It seems that the bank, the bills and the `wages' received by many prisoners during imprisonment in the ghetto had an additional role: they gave the impression of `normalcy;' of an orderly and routine everyday life that the Nazis indeed tried to present to the official representatives of the Red Cross who visited the Terezin Ghetto. The bills present documentation of the chilling reality in the days of the Holocaust: imaginary symbols of a `normalcy' that never existed, under the shadow of persecution and eradication," according to National Library of Israel expert Dr. Stefan Litt.

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