Latest Antisemitic Incidents Target Jewish Community Centres in Montreal and Toronto

November 27, 2023

News Release

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Left photo: Jewish Community Council of Montreal hit with a Molotov cocktail
Right photo: Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto vandalized

Toronto (November 27, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is deeply disturbed to see the recent rash of antisemitic incidents in Canada continue over the weekend, including a Jewish community centre in Montreal hit with a Molotov cocktail and a Jewish community centre in Toronto and a Jewish school in Montreal vandalized with hate graffiti.

Last night, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the entranceway of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal hours after MPs Anthony Housefather and Rachel Bendayan had met with Jewish community leaders inside the building. This came after the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto, which houses a daycare, fitness facility and programming for seniors, was vandalized with the words "Israel funds genocide." École Maïmonide, a Jewish French-language day school in Montreal, was also vandalized, with the words "Israel terrorist" graffitied and a sign defaced on school property.

Earlier this month, Jewish schools in Montreal were hit by bullets and a synagogue and community organization were firebombed, while a Jewish school in Toronto received a bomb threat. Reports of hate graffiti threatening violence include "I hunt Zionists" graffiti found in Toronto and "I’m going to bat for you Hitler" graffiti at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

The sharp rise in antisemitic incidents – including at synagogues, Jewish community centres, schools, university campuses and Jewish-owned businesses – since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack in Israel reflects a deterioration of the safe space for Jews in Canada.

"The targeting of Jewish institutions, whether with a Molotov cocktail or hate graffiti, is vile antisemitism, plain and simple," said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt. "Since Oct. 7, there has been an overwhelming spike in Jewish institutions being targeted and people of all ages reporting incidents of antisemitism, whether in their places of learning, in workplaces, online or on city streets. Jewish Canadians are losing their sense of safety, as they continue to experience hatred, threats of violence and incitement running rampant.

"Our leaders – in government, law enforcement, universities, schools and all institutions – must call it out and take any and all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Jewish community, before it’s too late and someone gets seriously hurt or worse. What message does it send to Jews in Canada when instead of utter outrage, these incidents are met with apathy, acceptance or even silence?"