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Pittsburgh Jewish Family Names Newborn After Poway Victim Lori Gilbert-Kaye

A couple from Pittsburgh named their newborn daughter after Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed in the attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, COLlive reported.

Judah and Chaya Cowen, who are affiliated with the Chabad movement, welcomed Noa Leah into the world on Friday, utilizing Gilbert-Kaye’s Hebrew name, Leah. The couple told COLlive that the decision “just felt right,” as Gilbert-Kaye exemplified someone “that every parent would want their child to turn out to be like.”

“We actually had a different name picked out, but when we learned about Lori, we decided that to name our baby after her just felt right, especially since it was still during the Shiva,” said Judah Cowen.

Noa Leah is the fifth baby for the couple, who said they were shaken by the shooting in the San Diego suburb late last month. It hit “really hit close to home for us,” Judah Cowen said, recalling the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh six months ago, where 11 were killed at prayer.

A friend wrote on Facebook that Gilbert-Kaye was “a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. You were always running to do a mitzvah [good deed] and gave tzedaka [charity] to everyone.” Gilbert-Kay’e own Facebook page features posts raising funds for groups and individuals in need.

“It was an honor for us to name our child after her,” Judah Cowen said. “Klal Yisroel [the Jewish community] really is connected, and to us, Lori really felt like family. We hope that by naming our daughter after her, it should bring, at the very least, a little solace and consolation to her family, community, and all of Klal Yisroel.”

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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