The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union) is deeply grateful for the resolution of the crisis situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.We are grateful first to the Almighty who provided strength and courage to the hostages and wisdom and patience to the law enforcement officers who responded to the crisis. We are grateful to those law enforcement officers – from federal, state and local agencies – who performed their mission with excellence and saved the lives of all of the hostages. We are grateful to the national political leaders – at The White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice/FBI – who were in direct communication with us last night to share their solidarity and their determination to resolve this situation and to give no quarter to antisemitism. We are grateful to our Jewish community partners at the Secure Community Network and others who pulled together to respond to such situations so well. While it seems this was an isolated incident, the investigation into it is still unfolding and we urge all synagogues to ensure their security and safety protocols are in place and that they are in contact with their local law enforcement partners as appropriate. The safety of synagogues is of the highest priority to the Orthodox Union. The OU Advocacy Center will continue our engagement with policymakers at the highest levels to deliver the resources our communities need to be safe and secure. In the near term, this includes pressing Congress to boost the funding level for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the DHS, to $360 million in the appropriations package currently under discussion. The Orthodox Union will continue to work to ensure that members of our community – and of all faith communities – can exercise the freedom to worship with freedom from fear.
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