San Antonio Jewish community leaders react to synagogue hostage situation in Dallas area

Synagogues adding security measures in the aftermath of the Colleyville hostage situation

Jewish community leaders in San Antonio are adding security measures in the aftermath of the Colleyville synagogue hostage situation on Saturday. The situation ended with the suspect, 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, dead and four hostages unharmed.

Nammie Ichilov, the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, explained that as things were unfolding they were checking in with local authorities to make sure the attack was isolated and not part of a bigger attack.

“They let us know that ... this was a unique isolated incident in Dallas that we had no immediate threat to their knowledge here in San Antonio,” said Ichilov.

Even with authorities believing the threat was an isolated incident, Ichilov is increasing security at synagogues in San Antonio. He also spoke out on Dallas authorities saying that Akram was not targeting the Jewish community.

“The fact of the matter is he didn’t choose any other faith house, he didn’t choose another location, he chose a synagogue,” he said. “They attacked a moment of peace in the Jewish community on Saturday, the sabbath.”

KSAT also spoke to the American Jewish Committee-Dallas Director Joel Schweitzer, who agreed with Ichilov. He also cited data from a study they conducted this year.

“What we found in the fall of 2021, when we did our last report, is that 24% of American Jews reported that a Jewish institution that they affiliate with has been the target of antisemitic incident,” said Schweitzer.

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About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.