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Lubavitch Chabad in Illinois raising money to help New Jersey victims

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CHICAGO — A Jewish organization in Chicago is raising money to help the children of the victims of the deadly New Jersey shooting.

Prosecutors are now calling that shooting rampage, that left four people dead, an act of domestic terrorism. Investigators said the two shooters expressed anti-Semitic views on social media, and they are treating the shooting as a hate crime. The shooters targeted police and then opened fire inside a kosher supermarket.

Police do not believe anyone else was involved in planning the attack.

Funeral services for Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals will be held next week.

Among the other victims were Mindy Ferencz, a 31-year-old mother of three who owned the kosher market with her husband, a store employee identified by police as 49-year-old Douglas Miguel Rodriguez and 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a deli customer who was the son of a prominent Jewish community leader in Brooklyn.

The owners of the deli who died inside the store were parents whose children are now orphaned. As a result, Lubavitch Chabad in Illinois has launched an initiative to help and comfort them.

Rabbi Baruch Epstein is the director of community outreach for Lubuvitch Chabad of Illinois. He said the Jewish community in New Jersey is like many you find in Chicago and the suburbs.

He and others in the community are now spearheading a toy drive for the children of the shooting victims and kids in general in the affected by the trauma. Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec. 22.

"Whenever we see something negative darkness that’s a call did you something positive and add light. We are here to bring light," Epstein said.

Instead of sending toys, the organization is accepting monetary donations and will send 100% of the money collected to the Chabad center in nearby Hoboken that services the Jewish community in that area.

"For the children whose parents were murdered of course nothing could ever replace them, but maybe for maybe a little bit light will prevent them from seeing the world as just a dark place," Epstein said.

For more information visit chabadillinois.com.

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