Rabbi wounded in synagogue shooting speaks at Dix Hills night of unity

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DIX HILLS -

A rabbi wounded in last week's deadly California synagogue shooting spoke at a night of unity Tuesday on Long Island.

Police say 19-year-old suspect John Earnest fired eight to 10 shots Saturday inside a synagogue near San Diego. A woman was killed and three others were injured, including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein.

Scores of people from across Long Island packed the Chai Center in Dix Hills for a special service honoring the shooting victims and showing solidarity with the survivors.

Goldstein spoke to the crowd via live feed from California. He recounted the horror of gunfire shattering the silence of the synagogue.

"Yesterday could have been my funeral," he said. "I had the bullets flying right by me."

Goldstein expressed his heartfelt gratitude toward Long Islanders for their show of solidarity.

"Thank you for being there for us," he said.

The California attack came about six months after a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead and seven more injured. A report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League suggests that both shootings are part of wider increase in physical violence against Jewish communities nationwide. The report found that violent attacks against Jews in 2018 more than doubled compared to recent years.

Rabbi Yakov Saacks, of the Chai Center, urged Long Islanders to take a stand against anti-Semitism and bigotry.

Tuesday's service came on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Read more:
ADL report: Anti-Semitism at 'near historic high' in US
19-year-old kills 1, wounds rabbi and 2 others at synagogue
Chabad of Roslyn commemorates 11 killed in Pittsburgh on Hanukkah
Merrick vigil held in solidarity with Pittsburgh

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