Antisemitism Intensifies in Montreal as Jewish Institutions and Students Face Hate and Violence

November 9, 2023

News Release

< Back to News Room

Toronto (November 9, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is horrified by the news of two Montreal Jewish schools being hit by bullets last night, in the same week that a synagogue and community organization were firebombed and hateful incidents occurred at Concordia University.

Montreal police are now investigating reports of Jewish institutions being targeted this week, including Talmud Torah Elementary School and Yeshiva Gedola of Montreal, whose doors were hit by bullets, and Congregation Beth Tikvah and Federation CJA, which were firebombed.

Earlier today, FSWC issued a statement about the violent and hateful confrontation Jewish students faced yesterday. It also sent a letter to Concordia President and Vice-Chancellor Graham Carr, in which FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt said, "It is deeply concerning that students calling for the peaceful release of hostages are being put in situations where they cannot assume their physical safety, and it has become imperative that Concordia take significant steps to address this situation before somebody gets hurt. Concordia must take steps to immediately increase police and security on campus, particularly in common areas where confrontations like what has been occurring are likely to take place. Concordia must also investigate the incidents that have already occurred, and hold the instigators responsible."

FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt issued the following statement in response to the incidents:

“This targeting of Jewish institutions in Montreal is shocking and unacceptable. As we mark the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when Nazis in Germany launched a violent, antisemitic pogrom, killing nearly 100 Jews and destroying thousands of Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues, the recent attacks on Jewish schools, a synagogue and a community organization remind us that antisemitism persists in our society to this day, and the danger it represents. Antisemitism didn’t begin with the Holocaust and didn’t end with the Holocaust, and, sadly, threats against Canadian Jews are real and intensifying.

"The time for our government and law enforcement officials to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to protect the Jewish community is now, before it’s too late and someone gets hurt. We appreciate that Montreal police are upping security, and we expect this heightened vigilance to continue during this difficult time for the community. I want to remind everyone in the Jewish community of the importance of our resolve and resilience. We must continue to remain vigilant and speak out when Jew-hatred is on display, never backing down from calling for the release of hostages who remain in Gaza and our support for the Jewish state.”