March 22, 2023 •
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Dear Friends,

Barukh Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam, Matir Asurim.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, who frees the captives.

We are beyond grateful to the efforts of everyone involved yesterday in saving the lives of the four hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. We are moved by the outpouring of prayers and support from Jewish communities everywhere, and from our neighbors from the interfaith community. We are reminded that we in the Jewish community are one family. When one of us hurts, we all feel the pain.

In the wake of yesterday’s hateful and antisemitic event, please know the following:

1. Security at Temple B’nai Abraham is a top priority. We have numerous measures in place at the Temple to ensure the safety of our community when gathered together. We are in regular contact with safety officials and constantly reviewing how we can best remain vigilant and secure.

2. The Temple team is here for you. If you would like to talk to someone about any feelings or concerns coming up in yesterday’s wake, please reach out to any of us on the clergy team. We are available for you. As a reminder, the pastoral emergency phone number is 973-348-5211.

3. One man’s terrible choices do not reflect the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of the vast majority of our many neighbors and partners who support and stand with us.

We must all remain vigilant against acts of antisemitism, hatred, and violence, whether we are at synagogue or anywhere else. However, we cannot let these intimidations get in the way of our sacred efforts at home, in the temple, or out in the world. We stand together, united, and committed as always, to live meaningful and active Jewish lives of justice and goodness.

We wish to share with you the words offered this morning by Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel:

I am thankful and filled with appreciation for
All of the vigils and prayers and love and support,
All of the law enforcement and first responders
who cared for us,
All of the security training that helped save us.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish
Community, the Human Community.
I am grateful that we made it out.
I am grateful to be alive.

Indeed, we are all grateful. May we continue to send prayers of healing to all those affected. May we pray and work for a day when these messages are no longer needed, when we can all feel safe in our sacred spaces, and when we know that love fills the hearts of every human being.


David Z. Vaisberg, Senior Rabbi
Mara B. Suskauer, Executive Director
Julie A. Silbermann, President

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