Synagogue Shooting Claims Industry Member Lori Kaye
On Saturday, April 27, the last day of Passover, a gunman entered the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in suburban San Diego, California, and opened fire, killing one and injuring three. Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, who later died, was a member of the sales staff at San Diego distributor Pro Specialties Group.
In a statement on social media, the distributor said, “Lori Gilbert Kaye has been an employee of Pro Specialties Group, Inc. and a member of our sales team for 12 years. Lori was known for her commitment to our clients, generosity of spirit, willingness to share her experiences and passion to persuade others to do the same. Words cannot sufficiently convey the magnitude of this loss for our community, and the indelible impression she made—including her smile, within Pro Specialties Group, Inc. We send our condolences and prayers to her family and friends.”
According to news reports, Kaye was shot while shielding Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was injured but survived the attack. At a news conference, Rabbi Goldstein referred to Kaye as a founding member of the congregation and practically a member of his family. “She had unconditional love for all,” he said. “We will salute Lori and her life and keep her legacy alive—a legacy of goodness and kindness.”
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Kaye’s friend, Roneet Lev, said, “She was full of life, full of energy, an ants-in-your-pants type person. She couldn’t stand still. She was always going to visit this person and that person. She collected people. She was proud to know people all over the world.”
Kaye made a memorable impression on those in the promotional products industry as well. Speaking to PPB Newslink, Brandon Greaney, vice president of sales and marketing at San Diego supplier Makana Line, says, “I knew Lori from our business interactions over the years. She was a friend and neighbor. I’ve hand-delivered items to her home and have had many great conversations with her. This happened just down the street from my house. Saturday was mostly a shock, but the past 48 hours or so have been very difficult for our community. Last night there was a memorial service at our local high school where more than 4,000 community members attended. She is a hero. I can’t imagine what her family is going through.”
A funeral service was held for Kaye on Monday at Chabad of Poway that drew approximately 700 people including rabbis from across the country and other faith leaders, as well as California Reps. Susan Davis, Duncan Hunter and Scott Peters; state Sen. Brian Jones; and representatives from the U.S. and Israeli governments. Kaye is survived by her husband Dr. Howard Kaye, her daughter Hannah, her father Dr. Richard Gilbert, her sisters Randi Grossman and Ellen Edwards, and several nieces and a nephew.
Chai Lifeline, a nonprofit group offering programs for seriously ill children and their families, has established a memorial fund in her memory. Kaye’s sister, Randi Grossman, serves as the organization’s West Coast director, and Kaye was an active supporter of the organization.