MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Jewish leaders in the Rio Grande Valley say what happens around the world affects what happens here at home.
“As a Jewish community, we’ve come to recognize that whenever Israel is in the news, whether it’s for something good or something bad, we know that there’s going to be more attention on our Jewish community here,” said Rabbi Nathan Farb of Temple Emanuel.
Rabbi Farb said he had no reason to believe there were any local threats that would prevent him from continuing to carry out services. However, he said temple officials would remain vigilant.
“We have been working very closely with local law enforcement, McAllen PD, who provided one of their towers for us,” Farb said. “Just to keep an extra eye on things, as an additional layer of security.”
The rabbi also said he had been working with other law enforcement agencies to keep tabs on what was happening in McAllen, and the world. He said he wanted to make sure everyone who visited the temple was as safe as they could possibly be.
Farb said the situation in Israel is different than anything he has experienced in his lifetime. But, said, he was confident there would eventually be a peaceful resolution.
“Every time that there has been conflict in Israel, that there has been war in Israel, the people have found a way through it, and to establish peace,” he said. “Israel has seen many wars and Israel has seen many periods of peace.”
He said there had been widespread support from the community and many people had reached out to him personally and to his congregants.
“The only calls or messages that we have received directly have been messages of support,” Farb said. “Of love. Of prayer.”
Farb added he had not heard from the local Muslim community about the current conflict. But said he had participated in events with local mosques and imams in the past and hoped to continue doing that in the future.
He said so many people joining in solidarity with the Jewish people reflected the character of the people in the Rio Grande Valley.