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 being on the scene today and negotiating the 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 that our Jewish institutions 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.
Last night we issued the following statement on Facebook while the situation was still active:
While you are likely monitoring the horrifying hostage situation in Texas, for those who are not aware, a man demanding the release of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas earlier today, during Shabbat services and took four hostages. This is an ongoing law enforcement operation.
The FBI, along with state and local law enforcement partners, are actively attempting to resolve this situation peacefully.
At present, Secure Community Network, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America, is coordinating with law enforcement.
The Anti-Defamation League is on the ground in Colleyville to provide support to the community and is working closely with the FBI to share information from ADL’s Center on Extremism. AJC has reached out to Fort Worth and Tarrant County Federation Director Barry Abels as well as Rabbi Brian Zimmerman of nearby Beth-El Congregation to offer our thoughts, prayers, and assistance however needed.
Currently, there are no reports of credible threats to our local community.
We are offering the following resources and discussion guides on hate and extremism for those engaging in meaningful conversations with school-age children:
- Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate (In English and en Español)
- Discussing Hate and Violence with Children
- Extreme Measures: How to Help Young People Counter Extremist Recruitment
- Table Talk: Islamophobia and Being an Ally
- Table Talk: Antisemitism Today
- Translate Hate
- AJC’s 2021 State of Antisemitism in America report
This is a fluid and unfolding situation. In the meantime, we pray that Rabbi Cytron-Walker and all those at the synagogue remain safe and unharmed.
American Jewish Committee (AJC)
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition