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B’nai Brith Deeply Disturbed by Swastika Vandalism at Montreal Synagogue

An image of the scene at Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim (Facebook)

Jan. 13, 2021

MONTREAL – B’nai Brith Canada is outraged and alarmed by a serious act of antisemitism targeting a synagogue in Montreal.
A man was apprehended in the midst of spray painting swastikas on the prominent Shaar Hashomayim synagogue in Montreal’s Westmount neighbourhood. He was first spotted by the synagogue’s security guards, then arrested by Montreal Police.
Particularly concerning was the fact that a red gasoline canister was spotted by the doors where he carried out his desecration. A statement from the synagogue indicated that nobody at the synagogue was physically harmed during the incident.
“This incident is another jarring reminder of the constant need for vigilance in protecting our Jewish communal institutions,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Antisemitism can rear its ugly head anywhere and any time, and we must always do our part to combat it when it does.”
“B’nai Brith will be following up with the Montreal Hate Crimes Unit and those affected, to do whatever we can to ensure that justice is served in this case,” said Harvey Levine, B’nai Brith’s Quebec Regional Director.
Back in May, another Montreal synagogue, the Congregation Sepharade Kol Yehouda, was ransacked by vandals who also threw ritual objects on the floor and even in the toilet. That synagogue, like Shaar Hashomayim, was closed at the time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just this past weekend, a Vancouver synagogue had its online services intruded upon by an individual who broadcast Holocaust denial messages.