We are grateful and relieved that all of the hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, were unharmed. We wish to thank the members of local, state and federal law enforcement who helped bring this attack to an end. We pray that the hostages and their families recover fully from the emotional trauma inflicted on them.
We express our gratitude to members of other faith communities who have contacted us with expressions of concern and support. May yet another vile attack on Jews in prayer be a catalyst for increased interfaith dialogue between the Jewish and Muslim communities. May we find common ground and come together in common cause, rejecting those who hate and seek to divide us.
It is a sad reflection of our times that synagogues and other Jewish institutions continue to be targets of antisemitic hate. As you know, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue invests considerable resources in protecting our community. We have been assured by our own security consultants, as well as our partners in local law enforcement, that there are no known threats against the synagogue or the Jewish community in New York in the aftermath of Colleyville.
The Jewish way to respond to intimidation and fear is to recommit ever more strongly to our people and our faith. Find ways to express yourselves Jewishly in the days to come. In this spirit, we urge you to consider attending services in person this Shabbat. Jews have always found strength and been uplifted in the face of adversity by coming together as a community. We observe strict health protocols, including requiring masks and vaccination. If you are reluctant to attend in person because of the pandemic, please join us online.
We pray for the peace of the world, and pledge to do our part in the work of social repair.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
Rabbi Samantha Natov
Rabbi Rena Rifkin
Rabbi Shira Gluck
Cantor Daniel Singer
Sandra Divack Moss, Executive Director