Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

As Texas synagogue hostage situation unfolded, Jewish community worried, prayed and sought solidarity

As the hostage situation at a synagogue near Fort Worth, Texas, continued into Saturday night, Jewish leaders shared calls for solidarity and prayers for the hostages and their community.

A man took four people hostage in Colleyville’s Congregation Beth Israel late Saturday morning, professing to be the brother of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a facility near the synagogue. Siddiqui, a relative by marriage of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, a primary organizer of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is serving time for an attempt on the lives of American military personnel after her 2008 arrest in Afghanistan on suspicion of planning attacks in New York.

Just after 7:30 Eastern time, one of the hostages was released, uninjured. Texas governor Greg Abbott announced just after 10:30 that the other three, including the synagogue’s rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, had been successfully rescued and were safe.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared that the city was taking extra precautions to secure Jewish sites in the area. While the man, who was reportedly armed, is believed to have made bomb threats, Michael Masters, director of the Secure Community Network — which offers security consultations to Jewish organizations — said his team had not found credible threats to other synagogues.

Jewish organizations and leaders in Texas, as well as across the country and world, shared on social media that they were monitoring the situation and praying for those within the synagogue. But as the country awaited a resolution to the ongoing situation, many abstained from offering further comments.

Elected officials, including Jewish senator Jacky Rosen and Jewish representatives Jerry Nadler, Jamie Raskin, Lee Zeldin and Josh Gottheimer, weighed in as well.

Some drew a connection between the situation and other recent antisemitic attacks on Jewish communal spaces, especially the 2018 Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, Pa.

And some remembered that Cytron-Walker had himself shared powerful words after the tragedy at the Tree of Life.

Journalist Lauren Zakalik, who reported on a memorial service Congregation Beth Israel held for the 11 victims of the massacre, particularly remembered Cytron-Walker’s perspective on the long impact of such tragedies: “Jewish tradition tells us that when we see tragedy, we come together,” he told her.

And a Facebook post that Cytron-Walker published after that event also began to circulate, shared by organizations like Bend the Arc.

“When it comes to hatred and violence,” he wrote, “we all must stand together.”

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.