FINDING HOPE IN HARD TIMES: Jewish leaders react to Texas synagogue attack

Local reax
Local reax(CBS 3)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 9:41 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) -An attack at a Colleyville, Texas synagogue Saturday left Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker overwhelmed.

Cytron-Walker was one of four hostages taken. He said attacks on Jewish people are not uncommon.

“Unfortunately we’ve experienced great difficulty and challenge as a people,” Cytron-Walker said. “And at the same time, we’ve experienced great resilience.”

The Texas attack reminded Pittsburgh Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of an attack on his synagogue in 2018, where 11 people died and six were injured. He said he is upset to see another place of worship violated.

“We’re talking about a Sikh Temple, a Black church in Charleston, a church in Sutherland, Texas,” Myers said. “All houses of worship are no longer the sanctuaries we hope they will be.”

Myers said Saturday’s hostage standoff brought up trauma from when his temple was attacked.

“This certainly has shaken not just me and not just my community, but Jews throughout the United States to the core,” Myers said.

That impact was also felt in Duluth.

“It’s very disturbing, that’s the truth. Turning on my phone after the Sabbath to such a terrible, ongoing situation, is very, very nerve-wracking,” Rabbi Mendy Ross of Chabad of Duluth said.

He reiterated it’s important non-Jewish people take time to learn, so fewer acts of hate happen.

“I think the main thing is to be educated. Be educated about your neighbors. We’re here, we’re visible, we’re proud, and you’re welcome to ask questions,” Ross said.

Duluth is home to Temple Israel, the only synagogue within 150 miles.

Previously, the Adas Israel Synagogue also called Duluth home. It burned down in a fire back in 2019.

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