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Religious groups stand together after Texas hostage situation

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Religious groups stand together after Texas hostage situation

MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Sadness abounded in the Jewish community throughout Michigan following a terrifying hostage situation in Texas on Saturday.

President Joe Biden called the episode an act of terror.

Organizations and religious leaders in Michigan are working to support the Jewish community during this time.

"This kind of violence and this kind of terrible act of taking hostages. It's always so sad," said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

He said here is more work to be done to bring the community together.

"We actually want to work on programs, with the police, with elected officials showing that our communities have joint needs and really want to partner," Lopatin said. 

Flint Jewish Federation Executive Director Steven Low has seen an outpouring of support from multiple religious groups following the Texas hostage situation at Congregation Beth El.

"All the different churches and mosques and religious groups who have immediately extended their support their condolences. We all have to stand together and I appreciate that it came right away," said Low.

While the world has seen an increase of hate crimes and anti-Semitism, he is hopeful there is an end in sight to actions like this.

"I look forward to the time when we're not so divided among ourselves and when, hopefully, we will get back to being able to talk our way through things as opposed to resorting to violence," Low said.

Lopatin sees communities in Michigan and throughout the country standing together to overcome this traumatic event even though this happened in another state.

"This is something that wakes us up and tells us that the general community, the Muslim community and the Jewish community that really care about each other and care about fighting hatred," he said. "We have to do our work to come together."  

The Flint Jewish Federation asks anyone who wants to offer help to contact them directly. Click here for more information.

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