There has recently been a series of six rock-throwing attacks on synagogues and Jewish schools in Montreal.
Targeted in the attacks were the Beth Rambam, Tifereth, Beth Zion, and Beth Davis synagogues and Academie Yavne in Côte St.-Luc; the Dorshei Emet synagogue in Hampstead; and Congregation Shaare Zedek in Notre-Dame-de-Grace.
Côte St.-Luc has a vibrant Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue said in an interview with the National Post that, among North American cities, this area of Montreal has the highest percentage of Jews living together in predominantly middle-to-upper-middle-class neighbourhoods.
According to Rabbi Steinmet: “A guy came sometime Saturday night and threw a rock at a set of second story windows, above the doors. And he threw a rock and broke a hole in a window and cracked it. It was just one rock. But this has now happened to six different Jewish institutions in Montreal. It’s a pathetic attack. It’s a cowardly attack. But it is a direct attack.”
A spokesman from the Montreal Police Department noted that authorities currently “have no suspects. This was serious and we will look at all events in the same area. These attacks could be related, since the same type of ammo was used.”
An expert detective has been assigned to the investigation.
There have been other assaults against Jewish areas of worship in the past: firebombings of the library at United Talmud Torah School in 2004 and a firebombing of the Jewish community centre in Snowdon in 2007.
Calling last weekend to report the attack, a Holocaust survivor said that she was devastated to see acts of hatred following her from her past all the way to Montreal.
On Monday, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said that the attacks were, “hateful and systematic acts” that “represent an attack on an entire religious community.”