How the interfaith community is processing the Colleyville synagogue hostage standoff

·1 min read

Members of the interfaith community packed White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake on Monday night in a show of solidarity with Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville.

It was the first service since Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants were held hostage at the synagogue for hours Saturday by 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram.

Cantor Jeffrey Weber from Fort Worth said Saturday’s standoff reminded him of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018. Weber’s son was attending the University of Pittsburgh nearby at the time.

“I feel bad for the rabbi,” Weber said. He brought his guitar to sing two healing songs at Monday’s service.

Weber, a former opera singer in New York City, said playing music has helped him deal with the trauma of Saturday’s events.

Cindy Simon said being at Monday’s service was a form of healing. Simon said she’s personal friends with Rabbi Cytron-Walker and his wife, Adena.

“It was important to show up and even risk COVID so we could be here in solidarity,” she said.

Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker (left) leaves a healing service Monday night, Jan. 17, 2022, at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. Cytron-Walker was one of four people held hostage by a gunman at his Colleyville, Texas, synagogue on Saturday
Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker (left) leaves a healing service Monday night, Jan. 17, 2022, at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. Cytron-Walker was one of four people held hostage by a gunman at his Colleyville, Texas, synagogue on Saturday

Farid Saiyed with the Islamic Association of Tarrant County said bringing people together from different faiths is key to reducing religious violence.

“If we can meet each other as people of faith, then it will give us more understanding of each other and reduce these kinds of incidences,” he said.

Farid Saiyed with the Islamic Association of Tarrant County, who attended a healing service in the wake of the Colleyville synagogue hostage standoff, said bringing people together from different faiths is key to reducing religious violence.
Farid Saiyed with the Islamic Association of Tarrant County, who attended a healing service in the wake of the Colleyville synagogue hostage standoff, said bringing people together from different faiths is key to reducing religious violence.
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