July 14, 2020


This is a very painful time for our congregation. Following the attack on our synagogue last year, when we were frozen with shock and fear, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein brought us together and inspired our community. That was the Rabbi Goldstein we knew. That was the Rabbi Goldstein the world came to know.


Yet, we’ve since learned that Rabbi Goldstein violated the law, contradicted what our synagogue stands for, and transgressed the very moral and ethical rules of the Torah he taught.


Upon learning of these allegations some months ago, we launched an internal review, following which the rabbi was removed from all of his duties at Chabad of Poway, his relationship with the organization terminated, and he was dismissed by Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters as a representative of the movement. (We were unable to disclose this at the time so as not to interfere with the U.S. Attorney’s investigation.) Throughout, we have cooperated with law enforcement, who have treated our congregation with respect, dignity and grace.


How do we reconcile this heartbreaking reality with the good Rabbi Goldstein accomplished during his decades of service? How do we separate his unethical and unlawful behavior from his many positive contributions to our community? We will surely struggle with these questions for a long time to come.


Despite these challenges, we are resolved to move forward together and to distinguish between Rabbi Goldstein’s own misdeeds and the timeless ethical and moral Torah teachings he helped connect us to. We will continue to serve G‑d with joy, to heal and grow stronger, to share acts of goodness and kindness, and to ensure that Chabad of Poway renews its role as a beacon of light and source of inspiration for the greater Poway community and beyond. 


We hope and pray that Rabbi Goldstein finds the professional help that he needs and makes amends to our country and to the people he has hurt. And we pray that the Goldstein family find the healing they so deserve.


We request that during the coming days and weeks our community and the Goldstein family please be given the respect, privacy and space they need. Any questions relating to the investigation should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 


Chabad of Poway