AUSTIN (KXAN) — One year after an arsonist attacked an Austin synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel wants to make sure no one forgets when hate erupted.
On Halloween night in 2021, authorities said Franklin Sechriest of San Marcos drove to the Austin temple and set it on fire. He was indicted earlier this year on multiple federal charges.
Congregation Beth Israel has not reopened the sanctuary space yet due to the damage.
Mayor Pro-Tem Alison Alter is a member of the congregation. She’s highlighting the attack, as a plea to people to call out hate and antisemitism in all forms.
“This kind of bias and hate, being allowed to be pervasive, to be out there in our community unchecked, is a problem,” Alter said. “We have to figure out how to respond to this darkness, and really move forward as a community and say it’s not a part of who we are.”
She added Congregation Beth Israel is currently building a temporary sanctuary. As for the case against Sechriest, he’s due back in court later this month.