US Repaired Texas synagogue reopens months after hostage crisis
FBI is working to determine where Texas synagogue hostage-taker acquired his gun, official says
The FBI is working to fill a "primary gap" in its investigation into the Colleyville, Texas, hostage standoff: finding out how the hostage-taker acquired his gun, FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said during a Friday news conference. © ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP via Getty Images Police vehicles sit outside of Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on January 16, a day after the hostage situation. "We are actively focused on that piece of the investigation," DeSarno said.
COLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — In the three months since Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants were held at gunpoint in their Texas synagogue, new carpet has been laid in the sanctuary, the walls have been repainted, the entry retiled and new doors installed. He said it has been healing to watch.
“Each time I came back in, I got to see us moving forward," Cytron-Walker said.
UK police: Two arrested in connection to Texas synagogue hostage standoff
Two men were arrested in the United Kingdom on Thursday in connection to this weekend's hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue.Greater Manchester Police announced in a tweet on Thursday that two men were arrested in Birmingham and Manchester that morning. They are still in custody for questioning, according to authorities."Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West continue to support US authorities with their investigation into the events in Texas," the police wrote in a statement.
in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville will be rededicated on Friday, and members will celebrate Shabbat in their own building for the first time since
After the 10-hour standoff on Jan. 15 ended with theand an and killing the gunman, the synagogue was left with broken doors and windows, bullet holes and shattered glass.
Anna Salton Eisen, a founder of the synagogue, said the scene reminded her of abandoned synagogues in Poland still marked with bullets from World War II that she saw while visiting that country in 1998 with her parents — both
Antisemitism Is the Root of All White Supremacist Terrorism
Antisemitism, the oldest hatred, is thriving in the United States, as evidenced by last weekend’s hostage crisis at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Texas. It’s still terrorizing Jewish communities and serving as the gateway to inspiring violent extremists, both here and abroad, who in turn use it to harm marginalized communities. As such, a multi-racial and multi-faith coalition must recognize and combat antisemitism to protect both our Jewish neighbors and our fragile democracy. Last weekend’s harrowing incident also reminded us that antisemitism is as stupid as it is dangerous.
"I was standing in my synagogue this time and it was just empty and silent and it showed the marks of the violence that had occurred,” Eisen said.
Eisen said the return will help the healing process.
“We are not defeated and we are not going to live in fear,” she said.
Leaders of the congregation made up of about 160 families said that as they return after holding services at a Methodist church during the repairs, they've been struck by the outpouring of love and support they've received. They also want to focus onwhich led the gunman to their synagogue.
“It’s my hope and my prayer that there’s greater awareness about how damaging hate can be,” said Cytron-Walker, who starts a new job in July at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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He was preparing for a morning service on Jan. 15 at when a stranger came to the synagogue's door. Cytron-Walker welcomed the man who said he'd spent the winter night outside, chatting with him and making him tea.
Then, as Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants prayed — and others watched online — a click from a gun could be heard. During the standoff, British nationaldemanded the release of a Pakistani woman in nearby Fort Worth after being convicted of trying to kill U.S. troops.
The hostages have said Akram cited antisemitic stereotypes, believing that Jews wield the kind of power that could get the woman released.
Inside the Texas synagogue hostage standoff
It started like most any Saturday for members of Congregation Beth Israel. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. All four people who were held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue have been safely released after more than 10 hours of being held captive by a gunman. Yesterday, police responded to a hostage situation after reports of a man with a gun was holding people captive.
One hostage, 85-year-old Lawrence Schwartz was released after about six hours. At about 9 p.m., the remaining hostages made their escape as Cytron-Walker threw a chair at Akram and the hostages ran out a side door.
Cytron-Walker has credited pastfor getting them out safely, including training he received from the Secure Community Network, founded in 2004 by Jewish organizations.
The hostage-taking in Texas came just over three years after America’s deadliest antisemitic attack, when a gunmanfrom three congregations meeting at Pittsburg's Tree of Life synagogue.
“We believe the training is absolutely critical," said Michael Masters, Secure Community Network's national director and CEO. “You very rarely rise to an occasion in a critical incident, you fall back to your level of training."
He said that last year they trained over 17,000 people, and that number was surpassed in the first three months of this year.
Rabbi threw chair at Texas synagogue gunman before escaping; FBI casts standoff as terrorism
A rabbi who endured a standoff at a Texas synagogue said he and other hostages fled after he threw a chair at the assailant, Malik Faisal Akram.Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker spoke to "CBS Mornings" hours after the FBI released a statement calling the standoff a "terrorism-related matter in which the Jewish community was targeted.
Congregation Beth Israel President Michael Finfer said Thursday that it will continue to do security training and that going forward it will have "far more police security than we’ve had in the past.”
Jeff Cohen, one of the four hostages, said he’s excited about the return.
“That’s part of that processing, it’s to look at where we’re going to be,” said Cohen, the synagogue’s vice president and security director.
Who Was the Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Taker? What We Know So Far .
British officials confirmed to Newsweek that the man killed in a shooting at the synagogue was from Britain.A gunman took four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday morning, and was heard ranting on a livestream of the synagogue's service. He appeared to have a British accent.