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Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein shared the details of his personal phone call with President Donald Trump after the shooting.
USA TODAY

The rabbi injured in the California synagogue shooting on Saturday said he found comfort in a personal call from President Donald Trump. 

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad in Poway described the 10- to 15-minute conversation with Trump as meaningful.

“He was just so comforting,” Goldstein said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. “I’m really grateful to our president for taking the time and making that effort to share with us his comfort and consolation.”

Goldstein, 57, said he received the call at home and was amazed to hear the White House secretary on the line. It was his first conversation with a U.S. president, he said. 

The rabbi was one of three injured when a gunman opened fire on Saturday while the congregation celebrated the last day of Passover. One woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, was killed as she shielded Goldstein from gunfire. Goldstein said she was a longtime friend and devoted member of the congregation. 

“He shared with me condolences on behalf of the United States of America,” Goldstein said of Trump’s call. “We spoke about the moment of silence. And he spoke about his love of peace and Judaism and Israel.”

The 19-year-old suspected gunman walked into the synagogue with an AR-style assault weapon and opened fire on worshippers shortly before 11:30 a.m. local time, police said.

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Trump called the attack a hate crime before leaving the White House for a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday night and offered thoughts and prayers on Twitter.

“My deepest sympathies go to the people that were affected – the families, the loved ones – by the, obviously – looks right now based on my last conversations – looks like a hate crime,” Trump said. “Hard to believe, hard to believe.” 

The attack came about six months after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 people dead. The gunman in that attack allegedly screamed anti-Semitic epithets at the victims, such as “All Jews must die.”