Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, has reopened nearly three months after an armed assailant took four members hostage at the synagogue, NBC reported.

The Reform synagogue’s services were streaming online from various locations while the building was being restored following the crisis on Jan. 15, in which four congregants were held hostage for nearly 12 hours. One hostage was released several hours before the three others were freed, after the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team stormed the synagogue. The armed hostage-taker, 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, was killed at the scene.

Congregation Beth Israel opened its door to in-person services on Friday. One of the hostages, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, said the local community has been very supportive over the last few months.

“I’ll tell you, it’s not always an easy thing to be Jewish in our area. It’s not an easy thing, especially for our kids going through school,” he told NBC. “We had really great relationships and still, it wasn’t always easy. So to get the outpouring we received meant the world to us.”

Anna Eisen, a founding member of Congregation Beth Israel, said: “People I didn’t know in my community were praying for us. Churches in Coppell were organizing prayer services. … Every act of love, of friendship, of support really lifts us up. It was a wonderful thing not to feel alone, not to feel disregarded.”

Synagogue president Mike Finfer thanked the First United Methodist Church of Colleyville for offering congregants a space to pray on Friday nights and Saturday mornings after the attack.

He also noted that the building now has enhanced safety measures, like an iron fence, as well as more police and security.


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