The Texas Synagogue hostage crisis hit Jewish communities around the world this weekend, including Bay State Jews who heard from the FBI and U.S. Attorney on Tuesday following the horrific incident.
After the Texas rabbi said security trainings helped him survive the hostage nightmare, many speakers at Tuesday’s community briefing emphasized the importance of trainings for places of worship.
The rabbi threw a chair at the terrorist, providing cover for other worshipers to flee. He was also able to run away and escape.
“It sounds basic but it’s really important, and that’s what we do when we conduct training…practice these kinds of drills,” said Jeremy Yamin, director of security and operations for Combined Jewish. Philanthropies.
More than 1,400 people registered for the local community briefing on Tuesday.
Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Boston, also praised training for the protection of places of worship.
“Feel free if you’re interested in these kinds of threat briefings, not just on protecting places of worship, but also presentations related to active shooters,” he said.
“We are here,” Bonavolonta added to attendees. “And there is no information on the current threat – that we are aware of – that is currently being levied against places of worship within the Jewish community, and if we did, you and your community leaders would be the first to the knowledge. “
Robert Trestan, head of the Boston office of the Anti-Defamation League, reiterated the statement that there is “no credible threat” to the local Jewish community.
“There was also no known credible threat in the Dallas/Fort Worth area last Saturday,” Trestan said of the hostage crisis.
He added there was no known threat when a rabbi was stabbed in Brighton last year, or when a white supremacist killed two black victims near a Winthrop synagogue.
“Unfortunately, being nervous and alert is an integral part of the American Jewish experience in 2022,” Trestan said.
US lawyer Rachael Rollins also recalled these horrific hate crimes in Brighton and Winthrop. She cited statistics on incidents related to religious bias: 63% of religious hate crimes were targeted against the Jewish community.
“We have to be really honest with ourselves here in Massachusetts,” Rollins said, also noting that the Holocaust memorial in Boston was desecrated twice and football players at Duxbury High used anti-Semitic slurs. in their play calls.
“We will fight as hard as we can to enable everyone, including our Jewish brothers and sisters, to live authentically as themselves in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Rollins said. “And you have that commitment from your federal partners.”