Now that the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas has ended, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to law enforcement for rushing to the scene and negotiating the safe release of the four worshippers who were held as hostages.
The Secure Community Network (SCN) has informed us that the perpetrator was neutralized and that they are not aware of any information to suggest there is a broader threat to the Jewish community at this time as it relates to this incident. SCN will continue to monitor the situation and provide any updates as necessary.
Incidents like this illustrate how important it is to take measures to keep our spaces safe and secure. We will continue to work on both the federal and state levels to advocate for increased funding available to Jewish institutions for ongoing security improvements and will continue building relationships with local law enforcement and other relevant agencies.
We close with the words of Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who provided the following posting on Facebook in the aftermath of yesterday’s terrifying situation:
“I am thankful and filled with appreciation for
All of the vigils and prayers and love and support,
All of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us,
All of the security training that helped save us.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish Community, the Human Community.
I am grateful that we made it out.
I am grateful to be alive.”
We all feel relief and joy at the successful conclusion of yesterday’s hostage situation. We pray that all who were affected by the terrifying event can begin the path of healing and may we all vigorously renew our efforts in denouncing antisemitism.
AJC Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition