Poway street renamed in honor of Chabad shooting victim

Four people, including a rabbi in black hat, look up at crossing street signs for Lori Lynn Lane and Stone Canyon Road.
Rabbi Mendel Goldstein looks on as Jane Cohen, left, Lidia Kotlyar, foreground, and Roneet Lev unveil a new street sign in honor of their friend Lori Lynn Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed last April in a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
(Howard Lipin / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lori Lynn Lane was dedicated Friday in memory of Lori Lynn Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed last April in a shooting at the Chabad of Poway.

The short street off Stone Canyon Road, near where Gilbert-Kaye lived, was renamed from Eva Drive to Lori Lynn Lane at the request of family and friends and with the blessing of the city.

During a brief ceremony at the intersection Friday morning, Gilbert-Kaye’s best friend, Dr. Roneet Lev, said the street will be a “place of joy and peace, celebration and love to many people.” She said neighbors and those who walk and drive by will be “blessed and inspired by Lori’s legacy.”


Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said it was a bittersweet day.

“It’s somehow appropriate that we gather here just before Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, because Lori was a bright and shining light,” Vaus said. “The name of the holiday comes from the Hebrew word for dedication. So it’s fitting that we gather here to dedicate this street in memory of Lori, her life and truly her light.”

Rabbi Mendel Goldstein of the Chabad of Poway also spoke of Hanukkah.

“Tonight at 4:27 p.m. will be the time that all Jewish women and girls will take a candle and light the Shabbat candles,” he said. “Let’s light this candle in loving memory of Lori.”

Lori Lynn Lane is in the Green Valley neighborhood of northern Poway, roughly one mile south of Chabad of Poway where on April 27, the last day of Passover, a 19-year-old man opened fire, killing Gilbert-Kaye and injuring several others. The congregation’s rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, 57, who has since retired, lost a finger in the shooting. Two other people — Almog Peretz, 34, and his 8-year-old niece, Noya Dahan — were also injured.

John T. Earnest is awaiting trial on murder, attempted murder, arson and hate crime allegations.

Gilbert-Kaye, 60, died of two gunshot wounds that struck the back of her right shoulder and her right buttock, according to a county deputy medical examiner.

Surveillance camera footage of the lobby of the synagogue on Chabad Way was viewed during a September court hearing. It showed a man firing an assault-style rifle from just outside a front door, hitting Gilbert-Kaye as she turned to run. She fell to the floor at the entrance to the sanctuary.


The shooting made international news and Rabbi Goldstein, his hand heavily bandaged, became a worldwide symbol of tolerance, resistance and hope through media interviews and appearances at such places as the United Nations and the White House. He retired in November and one of his sons, Mendel, has assumed his duties as head of the synagogue and school.

Lev on Friday addressed the media that attended the sign dedication. She said Gilbert-Kaye was a “newsie” and would have loved seeing all the cameras and reporters.

Lev said Gilbert-Kaye’s home “was like the tent of Abraham, open to many guests and entertaining lots of people. She was known for her random acts of kindness and boundless energy. She attended every possible celebration of friends and family and acquaintances.”

She also said her friend died because of her faith.

“Lori died simply because she was Jewish, a reminder that anti-Semitism is alive in our country,” Lev said. “Lori led a life where every moment counted. She believed you never knew when you could die and therefore she was always hustling and bustling to do good and help others.”

Jones writes for the San Diego-Union Tribune.