‘We seem to have lost our soul’: Local Jewish community responds to latest attack


HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The local Jewish community is echoing the sentiments from California’s Rabbi, saying hate and terror won’t keep them down.

Rabbi Yossel Kranz, executive director at the Chabad of Virginia, is struggling with yet another tragedy within the Jewish community.

“There’s something wrong,” Kranz said. “There’s something fundamentally wrong that we keep having these conversations and we keep meeting to talk about this.”

Kranz was on his way to the synagogue in Henrico County on Saturday, the last day of Passover. The same day a gunman opened fire in a California Synagogue outside of San Diego, killing Lori Kaye. Three other worshippers were hurt.

“There were a lot of miracles that happened in this particular instance,” Kranz said. “The gentleman was able to get into this synagogue…he had an assault-style rifle…if not for it jamming, this would have been a massacre.”

This put Kranz and other members of the Jewish community on high alert.

“I don’t know that these things help to bolster faith,” Kranz said. “I think they cause you to question your faith and you have to dig deep and you have to find your faith anew.”

Kranz told 8News that the latest deadly attack is a reminder of anti-semitism that still exists today.

“We seem to have lost our soul,” Kranz said.

But he refuses to live in fear.

“We respond with renewed dedication to acts of kindness and to spreading light and goodness and godliness and holiness,” Kranz said.

The Chabad of Virginia is reviewing and improving security measures.

The synagogue says it partners with local and federal law enforcement to keep worshippers safe.

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