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B’nai Brith Canada Outraged After Fire Set at Entrance to Vancouver Synagogue

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The charred front doors of Congregation Schara Tzedeck in Vancouver

May 31, 2024

VANCOUVER – B’nai Brith Canada is appalled after a fire was intentionally set last night at the front entrance to the Congregation Schara Tzedeck Synagogue in Vancouver, the oldest Jewish congregation in the city and one of the largest in Vancouver. Thankfully, no one was injured.

“I was horrified to receive a frantic call from a community member that there was a fire burning at the entrance to the building,” said Aron Csaplaros, B’nai Brith Canada’s British Columbia Regional Manager. “This is a serious and dangerous escalation of antisemitic activity in Vancouver, and it is outrageous and repugnant.”

This latest incident of targeting of Jewish institutions across Canada comes just days after Jewish schools in both Montreal and Toronto were targeted with gunfire, and a month after Charlotte Kates, the Vancouver-based international coordinator of Samidoun, was arrested for hate-speech related charges after glorifying the Oct. 7 massacre in front of a large crowd in the city.

“We thank the Vancouver Police Department for their strong and supportive presence last night,” Csaplaros said. “And for all the work they have been doing to keep our community safe as hate and incitement towards Jews and Israel only continues to escalate.

“This synagogue serves not only as a house of worship, but as a second home for hundreds of members of Vancouver’s Jewish Community. We trust that the VPD will deal with this hateful incident with the utmost seriousness and will arrest and bring the perpetrator of this violent act to justice.”