The FBI and other federal and state authorities were negotiating with a man who took at least four hostages at the synagogue Saturday morning during services. The situation began to unfold around 10:41 a.m. and was ongoing as of 6:30 p.m.
“In my small synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and a few members of Congregation Beth Israel are being held hostage by a man who is armed with a gun and claims to have a bomb,” Anna Salton Eisen posted on Facebook. “Please keep us in your prayers. I started this synagogue with two other families and am heartbroken and fearful. What has become of the world?”
Salton Eisen’s memoir about her parents surviving the Holocaust, called “Pillar of Salt: A Daughter’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” will be released in April.
Salton Eisen, along with Sue Feingold and Beth Fishman, started Congregation Beth Israel in 1998 as a community Chavurah whose members had relocated to Northeast Tarrant County from other areas of the country, according to the synagogue’s website.
“(They) sought to create a substitute extended Jewish family here,” the website states. “The Chavurah began at a Yom Kippur breakfast at the Colleyville Community Center. The Chavurah organized Shabbat services and potluck dinners at the Colleyville Community Center, with Lloyd Fishman, husband of Beth Fishman, serving as lay leader with the help of other members of the growing Jewish Community.”
The current site of the synagogue opened in January 2005.