Synagogues practice safety measures after Colleyville hostage situation

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:35 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Synagogues all over North America are meeting on a webinar Thursday to discuss safety measures after the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel that happened over the weekend in Colleyville.

Andy Faber is the president of Temple Beth Emeth in Sherman, he said he got an email on Wednesday about a webinar with all English speaking synagogues in North America talking about safety tips and how to protect one another after recent events.

He said their synagogue already has safety plans put in place but is eager to learn more on how to keep his congregation safe.

“House of God was a place that you could seek refuge you were safe and it’s not like that anymore,” Faber said.

Temple Beth Emeth has been providing online services of worship due to Covid for some time now, and Faber believes after last weekend’s hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, that won’t change any time soon.

“You know it’s scary, I mean it happened in Colleyville it could happen in Sherman, TX, it could happen anywhere,” Faber said.

On Saturday, Congregation Beth Israel was holding their Saturday morning service on livestream when a man appeared at the door and later took four people hostage, one of them being the synagogue’s Rabbi, resulting in an 11-hour standoff before the hostages were able to escape.

After that incident, English speaking synagogues all over North America will take part in a webinar on Thursday to learn about safety measures.

“Once we look at what the Union of Reform Judaism has set up for security for synagogues and other organizations that we will probably put all of our heads together,” Faber said.

Faber said their congregation is small but their safety and the process of Worship is their main priority.

“We are all in this together and hopefully we can find a way to work around these so we can all start meeting on a weekly basis like we have to when Covid gets over with and we’ll all be safe,” Faber said.

Faber does not believe this was an act on a specific religious organization rather a terrorist threat overall.

He said they have not reached out to local law enforcement on extra safety precautions for the upcoming services but will consider it depending on how the webinar tomorrow afternoon goes.

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