Rabbi Alter Goldstein, nephew of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Poway, says, “This hit my personal family, but we are all one…”
By Shelli Liebman Dorfman
Featured photo courtesy of Alter Goldstein
Shortly after the shooting of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein at the Chabad of Poway, the horrific news made its way to his brother Rabbi Aharon Goldstein of the Chabad House of Ann Arbor.
“Someone came into the synagogue on Shabbos afternoon and said they heard there was a shooting at a Chabad,” said Aharon Goldstein’s son, Rabbi Alter Goldstein of Ann Arbor. “Then we heard it was in California. And then word came that it took place in Poway at my uncle’s synagogue.
“I didn’t want my father to know about it until after I got more details,” he said. “I wanted to wait until after Shabbos when we could call our family in Poway, but too many people were coming to us with information. When I told my father about his brother, we knew he had been shot but was safe and did not have life-threatening injuries.”
When Shabbat ended, they heard a chilling account of what had taken place. “My cousin who went to visit the family said my uncle confronted the gunman,” Alter Goldstein said. “He had stepped into the hallway of the shul before starting his sermon and saw the shooter. My uncle literally went for the gun and was shot. Then the gun jammed.
“We need to be vigilant,” he added. “Even in times of relative peace, we need to remember that Jews have always been a target. Our greatest power is being united. Chabad’s greatest idea is that all Jews are one big family. This hit my personal family, but we are all one, everywhere in the world.”