‘It was really scary’ congregation Beth Israel members respond to hostage situation – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Members of the congregation Beth Israel react to the hostage situation that took place on Saturday.

“It was really scary,” said Anna Salton Eisen, one of the founding members of the Beth Israel Congregation. “We just had to pray and hope and wait and see that it would be resolved peacefully and that everyone would come out well.”

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Anna Salton Eisen, one of the founding members of the Beth Israel Congregation. (Credit: Nick Starling / CBSDFW.com)

After an almost 11-hour standoff, the four hostages were released, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker.

As events unfolded, Eisen had to tell his nearly 100-year-old mother, who is a member of the congregation and a Holocaust survivor, what was going on. “When I went in and told her this was happening, she knows the rabbi and many of the congregations, it was really hard for me, and she was crying and sad, and I know she has her own memories of it. kind of thing. “

Eisen said things will be different when the congregation gathers for the first time since this incident. “I think the emotions really come when we see the rabbi for the first time and we’re going to hug him and see him, and I think it’s really going to hit us in our hearts how much we love and love him and his family. “

Outside the congregation, other members of the Jewish community told CBS 11 that they have seen an increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric in the last many years leading up to events like this.

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“A situation like this can make you want to run away and hide in fear, and that’s the moment when we must stand strong and be proud of who we are, we must also meet when there is hatred in the world. , it affects everyone and it only affects us negatively, ”said Jewish activist Lizzy Sazetsky.

“There is anti-Semitism, there is intolerance, there is hatred, but there is also support and law that exists to combat this. This is not a government-established act of anti-Semitism; it is individuals or groups, and they are violating the law in our land, ”Eisen added.

As emotions feel raw right now, they know society is asking them to stay safe.

“We need to realize that we are part of a large, caring community and that it’s just going to take time and we need to be able to talk about how we are and just be grateful and continue to be attentive and prepared for situations like this, which unfortunately can happen now, ”said Eisen.

In the days that follow, Eisen believes the community will help them get through this. “So together and show our unity to each other and find a way to heal.”

Eisen said it is too early to say whether they will have to increase security at the synagogue.

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Colleyville police and members of the FBI are still at the scene outside the synagogue while they continue to investigate.

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