Montreal synagogue and Jewish centre firebombed exactly one month after Hamas massacre

The perpetrators used Molotov cocktails in their arson attempt, police believe


A synagogue and Jewish centre in a Montreal suburb were firebombed on Monday night in an incident of attempted arson, according to local police.  

Investigators discovered broken bottles and burn marks on the front doors of the Reform shul Congregation Beth Tikvah and the back doors of Federation CJA across the street, suggesting the perpetrators used Molotov cocktails to vandalise the buildings. No one was injured in the attack and damage to both buildings was minor.  

“My first gut instinct was, ‘Phew, it was done at night,'” Yair Szlak, the president and chief executive officer of Federation CJA, told the Montreal Gazette. “The second thing is, ‘How dare this happen? How can this happen?’” 

“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 Henry Topas, the cantor at Congregation Beth Tikvah and the regional director of B’nai Brith Canada for Quebec. 

“We urge the authorities to investigate and arrest those responsible for this violent act targeting our community.” 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the attack, which took place three days before the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, writing on X/Twitter: “The attempted arson at @FederationCJA West Island and Congregation Beth Tikvah in Montreal is deeply disturbing. Antisemitism is completely unacceptable and must always be condemned – our government will continue to work with Jewish communities to combat this hatred.”  

The number of anti-Jewish hate crimes has risen in several cities across Canada since the massacres in Israel on October 7. Police in Toronto, home to Canada’s largest Jewish and Muslim population, reported that antisemitic incidents in the month of October were double what they were last year. Montreal police have recorded 48 antisemitic incidents since October 7. A total of 72 hate crimes and incidents against all minorities was reported throughout the whole of 2022.  

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive