CAM Hosts Digital Ceremony to Commemorate Anniversary of Chabad of Poway Shooting
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) held a digital ceremony on Sunday night, commemorating the anniversary of the fatal shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in 2019.
Last year’s shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue outside San Diego killed one congregant, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, and left three people wounded, including the recently-retired rabbi of the temple, who lost his index finger in the shooting.
Johnathan Morales, the off-duty United States Border Patrol agent who was a first responder and chased the shooter out of the synagogue, spoke at CAM’s digital ceremony. Morales recounted his experience with the tragic shooting and described the impact the attack has had on the Jewish community of San Diego.
Morales was joined by other notable speakers including Elan Carr (the US Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism), Danny Danon (Israeli Ambassador to the UN), and Dr. Ahmed Shaheed (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom or Religion and Belief).
Dr. Shaheed published a report last year following the events of the Poway shooting, in which he noted he is “alarmed by the growing use of antisemitic tropes by white supremacists including neo-Nazis and members of radical Islamist groups.” Last week, Dr. Shaheed also released an official report which sounded the alarm on rising anti-Semitism due to the coronavirus.
During the event, CAM announced a new initiative to plant olive trees in Israel, honoring those who fell victim to the Poway shooting as well as other victims of anti-Semitic attacks everywhere. The first 25 trees will be planted in in Kfar Silver, Israel and will be dedicated to the memory of Gilbert-Kaye
“First and foremost, it is so important to honor the memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and to remember those who were injured in the appaling attack one year ago at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue,” said CAM director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa.
“Only through raising awareness, by educating about the horrific consequences that antisemitism can have, can we begin to ensure that such a tragedy never occurs again.” Roytman-Dratwa said.