FSWC Sharply Denounces Latest Antisemitic Outrage as Two Toronto Synagogues Attacked

July 1, 2024

News Release

< Back to News Room

Toronto (July 1, 2024) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is alarmed over the latest anti-Jewish violence in Canada, which targeted two synagogues in Toronto.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Toronto Police Service issued a statement saying they are seeking a single suspect in connection with the desecration of the Pride of Israel and Kehillat Shaarei Torah synagogues. Following the attacks, which the police termed “a suspected hate-motivated offence,” they have stepped up their presence in the targeted areas. Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw said the two incidents are being investigated by the Hate Crime Unit.

In the first incident, early Sunday morning, the suspect, caught on a security camera, got off his motorcycle and threw rocks through several windows and a glass panel above the front doors of Pride of Israel Synagogue, located on Lissom Crescent in the North York area of Toronto. The person also hurled stones at the building’s stained glass windows before fleeing the area on a motorcycle, travelling westbound on Lissom Crescent. In the second attack, which according to police also occurred early Sunday morning, a person threw a rock through a window of Kehillat Shaarei Torah Synagogue, located on Bayview Ave., also in North York. As with the attack on Pride of Israel, the vandal fled the area on a motorcycle, this time traveling northbound on Bayview Ave. It’s the third such attack on Kehillat Shaarei Torah since mid-April.

These two incidents come amid a dramatic upsurge in antisemitism in Canada that includes many antisemitic shootings, firebombings, bomb threats and vandalism attacks on Jewish institutions and businesses in Canada since October 7.

“These latest manifestations of anti-Jewish hate are yet another reminder, as if one was really needed at this point, of the dangerous spread of antisemitism in Canada,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC. “How many more antisemitic attacks have to occur before Canadians, including all levels of government and the general public, fully recognize the gravity of the situation? This Canada Day weekend is not a happy one for Canadian Jews. It's a day stained by rampant antisemitism and threats targeting our community. These vile, hateful acts have no place in our city, province or country.”