A leader in the Greater Boston Jewish community said he watched in horror Saturday as a hostage situation played out over several hours in Texas.
Rabbi Marc Baker said it was a difficult reminder of the state of our nation.
"This extremist targeted Jews on the most sacred day of the week. I think we know this was an act of anti-Semitism and an act of Jew hatred and these acts are on the rise in the country," said Baker, the president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.
The FBI on Sunday identified the hostage-taker at Congregation Beth Israel in Fort Worth as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old from Great Britain. All the hostages were released safely, but Akram was killed, the FBI said, announcing that it wasn't believed that the situation was part of any ongoing threat or a direct threat to the Jewish community.
Baker praised the law enforcement teams that kept the four hostages safe and said the Jewish community does everything it can to be prepared if something like that were to happen here.
"We need to not be desensitized to it, we need to call it out from wherever it comes and be vigilant, stand with one another, to make sure that our community doesn't need to practice in fear," Baker said.
Police in Brookline and Newton said they were heightening security for local temple services.