New York, NY – In response to the current crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) issued the following statement:
“We are horrified by the ongoing hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, with whom we both identify and stand as Jews and as Americans, as we do with all of our communities.
“‘What affects one of us, affects us all, “commented Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO of both USCJ and The Rabbinical Assembly. “This attack on peaceful Jewish worship, despite our community’s vigilance, creates fear, frustration, anger, and sorrow. Our prayers are with the families of Beth Israel and we will continue to have the Colleyville community, including its law enforcement, in our thoughts. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution,” concluded Rabbi Blumenthal.
“We are sincerely grateful for all the first responders, members of local law enforcement, and the FBI as they negotiate a resolution to the ongoing crisis. We are also thankful for the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as our partners at the Secure Community Network (SCN), who have been monitoring this situation carefully.
“As rabbis, cantors, and Jewish communal leaders, we stand firmly with the Texas Jewish community and must ensure that Jews are able to worship freely, safely, and never in fear. We pray for a peaceful resolution to this conflict and especially for the safety of those trapped inside the synagogue, as well as all those engaged at the scene.
“We are reminded of tradition’s Hashkiveinu prayer, recited each evening, which takes on new meaning in times of crisis such as these:
“‘Cause us to lie down, God, in peace, and raise us up again, our Sovereign, for life.
Spread over us Your tabernacle of peace,
And guide us with Your good counsel.
Save us for Your name’s sake.
Shield us from every enemy, plague, sword, famine, and sorrow.
Remove the adversary from before and behind us.
Shelter us in the shadow of Your wings,
Guard our going out and our coming in, and grant us life and peace, now and always.
“Praised are You, God, who spreads Your tabernacle of peace over us,
And over all Your people Israel and over Jerusalem.'”
About the Rabbinical Assembly
The Rabbinical Assembly is the international association of Conservative rabbis. Since its founding in 1901, the Assembly has been the creative force shaping the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement, and is committed to building and strengthening the totality of Jewish life. The Assembly publishes learned texts, prayer books, and works of Jewish interest; and it administers the work of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards for the Conservative movement. It also serves the professional and personal needs of its membership through publications, conferences, and benefit programs, and it coordinates the Joint Placement Commission of the Conservative movement. Rabbis of the Assembly serve congregations throughout the world, and also work as educators, officers of communal service organizations, and college, hospital, and military chaplains. More information at www.rabbinicalassembly.org.
Founded in 1913, USCJ is the network of nearly 600 Conservative Jewish communities across North America. “Seek Meaning Together” is our underlying philosophy as we represent the values and beliefs of an authentic and dynamic Judaism in North America (US, Canada, Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico), South America and Israel. Our work strengthens kehillot (Jewish communities inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) by providing visionary leadership training, creating opportunities for Jews of all ages to learn and grow, sharing essential resources, and seeding innovative ideas. More information at www.uscj.org.