Lexington rabbi reacts to Texas synagogue hostage situation; FBI places faith-based communities on alert

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin says he and other staff have special training should an attack occur in Lexington. 

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- The Jewish community is deeply concerned following the hostage situation at a Texas synagogue over the weekend.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security put faith-based communities on alert Tuesday, saying they will “likely” be the target of violence.

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of the Chabad of the Bluegrass has seen his fair share of attacks on the Jewish community.

Litvin says when he learned about the hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas, it didn’t come as a shock.

“I was horrified and upset, but no one I spoke to was surprised. Because at this point, how could you be,” Rabbi Litvin said.

The FBI killed the man responsible for the attack in that synagogue. Thankfully, the hostages escaped.

In Lexington, most synagogues have safety measures in place, including cameras and security. But Litvin believes that isn’t always the answer.

“It’s my strong belief that locks are not the answer to this,” Litvin said. “Locks and cream cheese is the answer to this. More community is the answer to this. More people coming to synagogues is the answer to this, more people proudly engaging in their faith. Because the answer to hate is not to lock the door, the answer to hate is to change what our society allows.”

Litvin says he and other staff have special training should an attack occur in Lexington.

“It’s really important to have staff on premises who are aware of what to do, who are trained in what to do in case of an emergency,” the rabbi said.

While he hopes they never have to use those measures, he says they’re prepared just in case.

“We acknowledge that we cannot be surprised when acts of violence follow hate,” Rabbi Litvin said.


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