By COLlive reporter
The funeral of Lori Kaye, who was savagely murdered in the shooting attack on the final day of Pesach, was held Monday at Chabad of Poway near San Diego, California.
Lori’s husband Howard Kaye, daughter and other family members spoke eloquently about Lori’s loving and vibrant personality.
Her only daughter, Hannah, spoke emotionally about their fierce bond and her mother’s incredible ability to forgive, whether it was in her personal relationship with her daughter, or towards the person who committed the evilest of acts of taking her mother’s life.
The shooter’s “hatred does not shatter the love of my mother and the love of the community she was part of,” she said.
“I know my mother has already forgiven this man who shot her,” she said. “not only because she had a profound and motherly capability to forgive… but because her mission, how she lived her life – in her decision to preserve the life of the leader of the community, the children, all of us – automatically banishes the hatred that tried to take her light,” she said.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Shliach of Chabad of Poway who was shot at nearly point-blank range by the shooter and sustained injuries to his fingers, related how the Chabad Center of Poway was built due to the efforts of Lori, who while working for the Wells Fargo Bank, helped Chabad secure a construction loan to be able to build the center.
In an obituary about her, Chabad.org wrote:
Lori (Leah) Gilbert-Kaye was born in San Diego on Aug. 10, 1958—she would have turned 61 this year—and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Aside from college and a short time spent living in Long Beach, Calif., with her husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, she spent most of her life in the San Diego area, to which she returned to be closer to her parents and family.
Kaye was a devoted member of the broader Jewish community and, together with her husband, a pillar of the Chabad of Poway community, which she joined in the early 1990s.
Some time after Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and his wife, Devorie, arrived in Poway in 1986, they purchased an empty lot where they hoped to one day build their Chabad House, synagogue and Jewish center.
“When we bought our property in the 1990s, she secured us our very first construction loan so we could build a shul,” recalls the rabbi. “And she has been with us since.”
Today, Chabad of Poway’s sizable campus includes a synagogue, preschool, senior center, mikvah, kosher kitchen and Friendship Circle, serving children with special needs.
“Everyone knew her, and she knew everyone,” says her longtime friend, Teresa Lampert. “She was a huge part of this community; she participated in all events and was loved by everyone.”
It was through the Chabad community that Lampert met her friend Lori in the first place. Two decades ago, a friend suggested that Lampert, a native of Peru living in California for the last 26 years, check out Chabad. She and her husband did, and they loved it. The rabbi was warm, the community welcoming. That was when Lampert met Kaye.
“Lori and I hit it off,” she says. “It was just one of those friendships that flourished.”
She notes that Kaye’s generosity extended well beyond her own community. Kaye was active with the Hadassah Foundation, Chai Lifeline and other organizations. And, like the little details she always remembered, she was always on the lookout to give more. Lampert is a tour group manager and travels for business. Whenever she would go to a foreign location, Kaye would make sure to send along a check with Lampert to be donated locally.
“I would go to South America, Spain, Portugal, Alaska, and she would always send a check along with me for the Chabad House there.”
There was always a personal touch to her generosity as well. Lampert’s son serves as a volunteer lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. On a recent trip to Israel, Kaye met up with Lampert’s son in Jerusalem, spending time with him and taking him shopping. Kaye reported back to Lampert that her son was doing well, and that they had gone out to a restaurant before parting.
“She told me, ‘I didn’t send him back hungry, I sent him back really full!’ ” recalls the thankful mother. “Lori took care of all the details.”
The funeral will take place on Monday, April 29. Chapel Service at Chabad of Poway, 16934 Chabad Way, Poway, Cal. The Levaya-funeral service at El Camino Memorial, 5600 Carrol Canyon Road in San Diego.
Lori Kay is survived by her husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, and daughter, Hannah.