Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks to community members and congregants about the shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue during a candlelight vigil for the victim of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue at Valle Verde Park on April 28, 2019 in Poway, California. SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

POWAY, Calif. (JTA) — President Donald Trump placed a condolence call to the spiritual leader of the Chabad of Poway, the San Diego-area synagogue where a shooting Saturday killed one and injured three others.

“He spoke about his love of peace and Judaism and Israel,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told the media Sunday afternoon in front of the synagogue building.

The rabbi said the call lasted 10 to 15 minutes and he was “amazed” to hear from an American president.

“He was so comforting,” the rabbi said.

The incident is being treated as a hate crime, and the alleged gunman, John Earnest, 19, was charged Sunday with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.

A Chabad congregant, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, died in the shooting.

Elected officials across the political spectrum have condemned the violence, which coincided with the final day of Passover and came six months after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 worshippers at Shabbat services.


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