Montreal synagogue firebombed amid sharp rise in antisemitism

Between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25, the number of incidents rose 500% compared to the same period in 2022.


Canadian police are investigating attempted firebombings of a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Montreal suburb of Dollard-Des Ormeaux, local media reported on Tuesday.

The suspected arson attacks at Congregation Beth Tikvah and a nearby community center took place overnight on Tuesday, a police spokesperson told the Montreal Gazette.

“There is minor damage. The investigation is ongoing,” Sabrina Gauthier, a spokesperson for the Montreal City Police Service, was quoted as saying. Police investigators set up a security perimeter to analyze the scenes.

Police did not say whether it was investigating the attacks as a hate crime.

In a statement, B’nai Brith Canada called the incident “outrageous and appalling.”

“We are horrified that exactly one month to the day of the atrocities committed by Hamas, someone tried to burn down our house of worship,” said Quebec Regional Director Henry Topas.

“We urge the authorities to investigate and arrest those responsible for this violent act targeting our community,” added Topas, who also serves as a cantor at the Modern Orthodox synagogue.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which represents Jewish Federations across Canada, said it was in “close contact” with Montreal law enforcement to ensure the safety of the city’s Jewish community.

“At this moment, there is no indication of an increased threat level to the Montreal Jewish Community,” the organization said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Antisemitic events across the globe, including violent ones and online hatred, have increased significantly since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, according to a report published last week.

Between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25, the number of incidents rose 500% compared to the same period in 2022.

According to B’nai Brith Canada, the Jewish community, which comprises approximately 1% of Canada’s population, is the country’s most targeted religious group.