Canadian News

Montreal synagogue vandalized with swastikas, suspect in custody

One of the largest synagogues in the Montreal area was vandalized on Wednesday with anti-Semitic graffiti. A suspect has been arrested and is in police custody.

Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA
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One of the largest synagogues in the Montreal area was vandalized on Wednesday with anti-Semitic graffiti. A suspect has been arrested and is in police custody.

Rabbi Adam Scheier of Shaar Hashomayim, an Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogue in Westmount, said that a man had spray painted swastikas on the doors of the building around 2 pm.

The congregation was established in 1846 on James St. and moved to Westmount in 1922. The building is also home to two schools.

Rabbi Scheier added that the man was detained by a security guard and that Montreal police had arrested him. The suspect was carrying a gasoline can when he was arrested.

According to a Facebook post by Rabbi Scheier, a security guard noticed the vandalism while monitoring the surveillance cameras at the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim on Côte-Saint-Antoine Road.

"We begin by reassuring you that everyone at the Shaar, Akiva School, and Foundation School is safe," Scheier said, describing the incident as an "anti-Jewish act."

"Within a short time the police arrived and arrested the man," the rabbi said. "The perpetrator had a canister of gasoline with him."

Rabbi Scheier said that the graffiti was been removed and that he does not have reason to believe there will be any further attacks against the synagogue, but that the congregation "will remain vigilant as always."

"We are grateful to Police Station 12 and Federation CJA's security team for their prompt and effective response to this distressing event," he said.

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