LUBBOCK, Texas — During Saturday’s service at Beth Israel – the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas – a British citizen, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, took four people hostage, including the Rabbi, after being welcomed into the synagogue.
“Each time that an act of violence happens in the United States, it feels closer and closer to home. I say that as an American and not just a Jew,” said leader of Congregation Shaareth Israel, Rabbi Deborah Goldmann.
While all hostages were released unharmed, many folks from congregations around the state have been left wondering if this could happen to them.
“You know, one of the challenges and one of the discussions of what happens is, how do you choose, as you’re having in-person services, how do you decide who can come through the doors and who can’t,” said Goldmann.
Goldmann leads Lubbock’s congregation and said her congregation feels the fear of violence is closer now.
“Wondering like, ‘How do we keep this from happening to us’? And it’s a valid question, but I also feel that, there is a limit to the answer to that question, there is only so much you can do,” said Goldmann.
But Goldmann also said she almost feels that situations like this are inevitable.
“I do feel nervous, but I don’t feel nervous because I’m a Jew or because it’s a synagogue. But I feel nervous that these times are just getting closer and closer to home. And it very much feels like it’s not a matter of if but when,” said Goldmann.
Rabbi Goldmann saying her main take away from what happened in Colleyville is that none of us are safe until all of us are safe and believing that people can find that safety through love.
“Things are only going to change when everybody in our community and our neighbor’s and everybody around us decides that we need to come from a place of love and a place of lifting each other up,” said Goldmann.
Congregation Shaareth Israel will be holding their regular service this Friday over Zoom, passcode: Shabbat. Everyone is welcome to join.