Cody Rush admits threatening to blow up CRC


Cody Rush

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

A St. Louis man arrested outside of Central Reform Congregation last November admitted in federal court Monday to threatening to blow up the synagogue in 2021.

Cody Steven Rush admitted calling the St. Louis office of the FBI on Nov. 5, 2021 and saying, “I’m going to blow up a church.” Rush gave his name and identified his target as the Central Reform Congregation in the Central West End. Rush said he would take action the next morning when people were inside.

Rush said he hated Jewish people. He called back later and again threatened to attack the synagogue “while they are in service.” Asked if had anything else he wanted to say, Rush said, “Yeah, that I hate them with rage.”

In a third call, Rush gave his location, which was on the same street as the CRC. When authorities called Rush back, he again made threats.

Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI found Rush, who told them, “I am feeling suicidal and homicidal. I just feel like killing Jews.” He was arrested without incident.

Rush, 30, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey to the use of a telephone and instrument of interstate commerce to make a threat. The charge carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 8.

Sonya J. Vann, who became the new executive director of Central Reform Congregation in May, said she has been well briefed on the incident involving Rush.

“And while we know that a lot of people in our world have a dislike for all things different, we continue to be extremely vigilant in working with local police and our larger local Jewish Federation and other authorities,” said Vann Monday evening. “We appreciate the many efforts to bring Mr. Rush to justice and we will continue to work all involved as we move forward.”

Despite this incident, Vann says CRC will continue to carry on with its mission which includes a deep sense of community, respect for diversity, as well as an open, accepting, and safe environment among others.