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OZ: Community Responses to Colleyville, TX

01/16/2022 04:18:58 PM


Dear OZ family,

Our redemption is finally complete with the crossing of the Yam Suf in today’s Torah reading. Yet, as the harrowing details of today’s standoff in the  Texas synagogue makes clear, Amalek often lurks in the shadows ready to do us harm. Amalek is a coward. He attacks the weak and the ones he deems defenseless. All the more reason for us to buttress our own defenses. The security that protects the shul entrance is always enhanced by members of the CSS detail that is familiar with the membership and our physical plant. Amalek is out there and that is why we appeal to volunteers to join the ranks of CSS.

The fact is that there are for more people of good will in the model of Yisro, than Amalek,  and good will must translate to action in order to defeat the evil that Amalek represents.

Below are 2 Messages for your review

  1. Community Message from West Side Institutions
  2. CSS Response from Dr. Jeff Korenman, Chair of OZ Security Committee

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

We are grateful beyond measure that Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and the hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas are safe. 
We invite you to join us today at 5:30 pm as we express gratitude and solidarity in the wake of these horrific events. We give thanks for the work of government and law enforcement, outreach from other faith communities, and the unity of the Jewish community at this difficult time. 
Please join with us for a short community-wide program today, Sunday, January 16 at 5:30 pm.  
To join, click here: 

  • Rabbi Allen Schwartz, Cong. Ohab Zedek
  • Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
  • Rabbi Felicia Sol, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
  • Rabbi Roly Matalon, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
  • Rabbi Rebecca Weintraub, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
  • Rabbi Adam Mintz, Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim
  • Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Congregation Ansche Chesed
  • Rabbi Benjamin Spratt, Congregation Rodeph Sholom
  • Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, The SAJ
  • Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Ansche Chesed 
  • Rabbi Yael Hammerman, Ansche Chesed 
  • Rabbi Lisa Gelber, Congregation Habonim
  • Rabbi Joy Levitt, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
  • Rabbi Michael Strassfeld
  • Rabbi Mira Rivera, Romemu
  • Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses, Romemu
  • Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu 
  • Rabbi Emily Cohen, West End Synagogue
  • Rabbi Shaul Robinson, Lincoln Square Synagogue
  • Rabbi Yosie Levine, The Jewish Center


Dear Friends,

I, like you, was horrified to see the hostage situation that took place over Shabbos in Colleyville Texas.

I wanted to wait until most of the facts were in and the crisis over to make any type of comment in my capacity as Chair of Security at OZ. 

Although the events were shocking and distressing to say the least there are several points to note which offer encouragement and a path foward to hopefully avoid such things in the future.

  1. As soon as the details of the crisis emerged, the NYPD paid visits to many of our local synagogues to brief CSS members and offer their assistance. For this (and many other things) we owe the NYPD a debt of gratitude. They were professional and proactive.
  2. The most astute observation that I heard came from Rabbi Joseph Potasnik who noted that whoever perpetrated this did so after much surveillance and there was sure to be a reason why that particular synagogue was chosen.

I want to use these two points to highlight a most salient point in regard to our own safety here at OZ - and that is we have a great working relationship with our local precincts but ultimately it's our own alertness and security consciousness that will help deter such acts in the future. 

In the past we (thru CSS) have run programs designed for just about everyone to heighten awareness and spot abnormalities which typically are a calling card of surveillance. 

Almost no attacks occur without preparation. 

The old adage "If you see something - say something" is immensely helpful. But you have to know what to look for. 

We are so very fortunate at OZ to have professional security aided by the many CSS volunteers. BUT we can't do it alone. 

If you're interested in learning more (and I can't see why you wouldn't) or want to give of your time (possibly when the weather gets a tad warmer) please contact me personally.  

This only works if we are all on board with ensuring the continued safety of our families, friends, neighbors and guests who come to OZ to celebrate, learn and daven in peace. 

Kol tuv,

Dr. J Korenman 

CSS Team Leader of OZ 

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782