Conn. (WTNH) — Synagogues across Connecticut are stepping-up safety measures amid the ongoing hostage situation at a synagogue in Texas Saturday.
The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven noted in an online statement that the SCN Regional Security Advisor confirmed that there is no credible threat currently in the state. Nonetheless, the federation requested local law enforcement to step up patrols of area congregations “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Please practice situational awareness and join us in praying for a peaceful resolution of this terrifying situation,” the federation said in the statement. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Young Israel of West Hartford and the immediate past president of the Greater Hartford Rabbinical Association, said in a statement to News 8 that they are praying for “the quick release and safety of all those in harm’s way at Beth Israel Congregation in Texas.”
“We are always in continuous conversation and active collaboration with our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as our community’s security director John Colangelo, to ensure the safety and security of our families, congregations, and community,” Brander said. “We are truly grateful for their remarkable partnership and attention as we witness a scourge of hatred and antisemitism sweep our nation.
Additionally, the Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien’s Region Security Advisor Michael Shambrom released a statement, notifying the community that an alert was sent out to the security teams at local agencies to increase security at Jewish institutions.
“We are deeply appreciative for the efforts of law enforcement at this time, and we are keeping those inside the synagogue in our thoughts and prayers,” the federation said in the statement.
SCN is not aware of any direct, credible threats to any other institutions, the federation said, noting that the situation appears to be local and isolated.
During services at Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday morning, authorities said a man took hostages. According to police, the suspect could be heard ranting in a livestream, demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan.
Police were called to the scene around 11 a.m. and people were evacuated from the surrounding neighborhood shortly after.