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A Message from ADL Regional Director Scott Levin in Response to Colleyville

  • January 20, 2022


This past Saturday morning, a day observed by Jews as their sabbath, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker invited a man into Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas for a cup of tea. The man turned on the rabbi and three congregants, holding them as hostages for eleven hours. We are incredibly grateful they all safely escaped and were physically unharmed. We especially appreciate the role of local and federal law enforcement and commend Rabbi Cytron-Walker for his quick thinking and heroic actions that resulted in a safe outcome – training that he credited in part to ADL.

The trauma caused by the perpetrator of this heinous act extended far beyond the small congregation in Colleyville, as it added to the concerns of Jews around the county that it could happen in their synagogues. While the hostage-taker’s focus may have been on the release of a convicted antisemitic terrorist, he did not choose a library, shopping mall or even a church to try to leverage his ask; he chose a synagogue. This was an act of antisemitism, plain and clear.

We cannot allow rising antisemitism in our region, in our nation and throughout the world to be normalized. That is why ADL, along with its partners, JEWISHcolorado and the Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors, presented a virtual program Tuesday night, “Responding to Antisemitism – A Call to Action.” I was privileged to host the event and was joined by government officials including Governor Jared Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser, Denver Police Department Chief Paul Pazen, and Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Iman Jodeh, as well as clergy and leaders from the Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, African American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. People watching 8,673 screens received comfort and support. The messages from these interfaith leaders were loud and clear: antisemitism and hate are unacceptable.

Events like what happened on Saturday morning are difficult for everyone to process, but none more so than our youth. You will find below several ADL resources to assist with having important conversations with young people, as well as steps you can take to advocate for legislation and national representation to ensure a swift and steady response to antisemitism.


Scott Levin, Regional Director

Watch Responding to Antisemitism: A Call to Action here.

Watch Fighting Hate From Home: Lessons from a Hostage Crisis here.


ADL offers resources that can help families discuss antisemitism and events like what was witnessed on Saturday:


There is action that you can take right now, and can share with others, to support the fight against antisemitism: