Street renamed for Poway synagogue shooting victim

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POWAY, Calif. — The city of Poway unveiled a renamed street in Green Valley Friday in honor of Lori Lynn Gilbert Kaye, who was killed in April during a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.

The Poway City Council unanimously voted last month to rename the street from Eva Drive to Lori Lynn Lane. Kaye lived at the street’s intersection with Stone Canyon Drive. According to Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, the city hasn’t renamed a street since at least the 1980s.

“Lori Kaye was a special person,” Vaus said when the council approved the name change during its Nov. 5 meeting. “When we were approached by the Chabad of Poway, asking if we could change the name of a street to honor Lori, we couldn’t say yes quickly enough.”

About 15 to 20 friends and family members showed up for the dedication to remember Kaye’s life.

Friends said Kaye was instrumental in getting the loan that established the synagogue. “She’s kind of indescribable,” said Jane Cohen, Kaye’s friend. “She’s an extraordinary human being. I have never known anyone quite like her. She was warm, accepting, fun and adventurous.”

In the eight months since her passing, random acts of kindness and donations have happened in Kaye’s name.

“People have donated cars in her honor, wrote songs, done dances, named a newborn baby,” said Roneet Lev, Kaye’s best friend of more than 20 years. Lev wore pink at the street name unveiling ceremony Friday in honor of Lori’s favorite color. She said her friend was a guiding light who always helped steer others in the right direction.

According to Lev, that’s why putting Kaye’s name on a street sign was more than appropriate. “That puts a smile on my face,” Lev said. “It shows strength.”

Kaye, 60, was the only person killed during the shooting, which occurred on the last day of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Three others were injured during the attack, including Chabad of Poway Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who lost his right index finger as a result.

John Earnest, the 20-year-old nursing student accused of committing the attack, is currently scheduled to go to trial in June. He faces charges including murder, attempted murder, arson and hate crime allegations for both the shooting and an Escondido mosque burning in March.

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