NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The rabbi who was injured in the synagogue attack in Poway, California on Saturday was born and raised here in New York City.
On Sunday, people who have known him for decades praised his courage and faith, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein repeatedly shows his pride in being a native of Brooklyn.
He left Crown Heights eights for southern California 33 years ago.
“When I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, my parents taught me when you wake up in the morning the first word you say in Hebrew is ‘modeh ani.’ ‘Thank you.’” Goldstein said in a speech last November.
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He was back in Brooklyn earlier this month for his daughter’s wedding.
Yossi Feigenson of Crown Heights has known the rabbi for three decades.
“I met him as a rabbinical student in Los Angeles,” Feigenson said. “This is a rabbi who leaves his hometown and goes out there and for someone Jewish it’s a foreign land and he brings Jewish life to people.”
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He said Rabbi Goldstein became a worldwide example of grace and self sacrifice. Even after he was shot in the hand, he ushered children to safety and urged people to be calm and keep the faith.
There was praise for Rabbi Goldstein outside Chabad headquarters on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
“I think that the most positive messages is that the rabbi continued speaking after he was shot. He tried to encourage the people,” Crown Heights resident Ben Elman said.
“He’s a hero, gotta be more people like him,” another man said.
The rabbi’s brothers live in side-by-side houses in Crown Heights, Carlin reported.
He has more siblings around the Tri-State Area. CBS2 was told they are very proud, but prefer Rabbi Goldstein tell his own story and continue to inspire and lead.
The rabbi’s late father, Yossi, helped build the Chabad sect in Crown Heights and worked closely with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
To the community, his father was known as “Uncle Yossi.” He died in 2013.