Jonathan Greenblatt
Jonathan Greenblatt Courtesy of the ADL

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has hired Reform Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, the former leader of Congregational Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, as Special Advisor on Security to ADL.

Rabbi Cytron-Walker, who recently became the leader of Reform Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, “earned international praise for his actions when he and members of his congregation were taken hostage in their own sanctuary,” ADL said in a statement.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenbtatt praised Cytron-Walker: “We could not be more excited to welcome Rabbi Charlie to ADL where he will provide strategic counsel in helping our communities and leaders protect themselves against violent antisemitism.”

“At a time when antisemitism and hate crimes are at an all-time high, Rabbi Charlie has experienced firsthand the need for increased vigilance, resources, and programs to counter all kinds of hate and bigotry. We eagerly look forward to learning from the rabbi’s leadership and expertise,” he added.

“I am proud to be working with the ADL in the critical work of combating antisemitism and building stronger ties among America’s faith communities,” he said.

“Support and training from the ADL have been invaluable to me over the years; it literally saved my life and those of my congregants. This role allows me to help others – clergy, congregational leaders, members of the media – better understand both the challenges we face and opportunities we have by balancing security and hospitality.”

After he and three other congregants were taken hostage by a gunman on January 15, 2022, Rabbi Cytron-Walker testified before a Congressional committee on the need for increased security funding for synagogues and other places of worship.