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COLLEYVILLE, Texas – In the three months since Rabbi Charlie Cytron -Walker and three of his congregation were arrested at gunpoint in their Texas church, the new captain has been laid to rest. inside the sanctuary the walls were repainted, the entrances closed and new doors installed. . He said the look was healing.
“Every time I come back, I see us moving forward,” Cytron-Walker said.
Congregation Beth Israel will be rededicated in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville on Friday, and members will celebrate Sunday in their own home for the first time since the attack.
After a 10 -hour altercation ended Jan. 15 with the remaining detainees fleeing and an FBI reconnaissance team rushing to kill the gunman, the church was left with gunshot wounds. broken doors and windows, cracked windows and broken glass.
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Anna Salton Eisen, the church’s founder, said she remembered abandoned churches in Poland marked with bullets from World War II that she saw when she visited that country in 1998 with his parents – both Holocaust survivors.
“I’m standing in my church right now, and it’s isolated and silent and showing signs of the abuse that has taken place,” Eisen said.
Eisen said a return will help the healing process.
“We’re not captives, and we don’t live in fear,” he said.
Congregation leaders said about 160 families, when they returned after conducting services at a Methodist church during the recitation, were happy to see the fullness of the love and support they received. They want to focus on fighting anti -Semitism, which has led to gunfire in their church.
“My hope and prayer is that more knowledge is needed about hate violence,” said Cytron-Walker, who started a new project in July at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. .
He was getting ready for service on the morning of January 15 when a visitor came to the church door. Cytron-Walker invited the man, who said he had spent the winter outside, to talk with him and make the key.
Then, as Cytron -Walker and three of his congregation prayed – and others watched the site – a click could be heard from a gun. During the controversy, British national Malik Faisal Akram demanded the release of a Pakistani woman serving a lengthy prison sentence in nearby Fort Worth after attempting to assassinate U.S. military personnel.
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The hostages said Akram spoke antisemitic stereotypes, believing that the Jews would use any form of power to allow the woman to be released.
Another prisoner, Lawrence Schwartz, 85, was released after six hours. At about 9 p.m., the survivors escaped when Cytron-Walker threw a seat in Akram and the inmates ran to a side door.
Cytron-Walker credited past security training to take them out safely, including training she received from the Secure Community Network, founded in 2004 by Jewish organizations.
The exile in Texas comes more than three years after America’s deadly antisemitic attack, when a gunman killed 11 worshipers from three congregations together. and Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.
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“We believe the training is very important,” said Michael Masters, managing director and CEO of Secure Community Network. “You don’t get up once in a while in a serious event, you fall short of your level of learning.”
He said that last year they trained over 17,000 people, an increase from the first three months of this year.
Beth Israel President Michael Finfer said Friday he will continue safety training and going forward he will have “more police security than we have in the past.”
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Jeff Cohen, one of the four inmates, said he was happy to be back.
“That’s part of that process, it’s looking at where we’re going,” said Cohen, the church’s vice president and administrator.
The Texas church was reopened after the hostage crisis
Source link The Texas church was reopened after the hostage crisis