Jewish community will ‘stand tall’ after synagogue shooting
Eight-year-old Noya Dahan had finished praying and gone to play with other children at her Southern California synagogue when gunshots rang out. Her uncle grabbed her and the other children, leading them outside to safety as her leg bled from a shrapnel wound.
“I was scared, really, really scared,” said Noya, recalling how the group of children cried out of fear after a gunman entered Chabad of Poway on Saturday morning and opened fire. “I didn’t see my dad. I thought he was dead.”
The onslaught on the last day of Passover, a Jewish holiday celebrating freedom, wounded Dahan, her uncle Almog Peretz and the congregation’s rabbi. The attack killed beloved congregant Lori Kaye, 60.
Authorities said the 19-year-old gunman opened fire as about 100 people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Rabbi Yishoel Goldstein said he was preparing for a service and heard a loud sound, turned around and a saw a young man wearing sunglasses standing in front of him with a rifle.
“I couldn’t see his eyes. I couldn’t see his soul,” Goldstein said. He raised his hands and lost one of his fingers in the shooting.
And then, Goldstein said, “miraculously the gun jammed.”
In the moments that followed, Goldstein said he wrapped his bloodied hand in a prayer shawl and addressed congregants gathered outside the building, vowing to stay strong in the face of the deadly attack targeting his community.