TORONTO (JTA) — Vandals broke into several Jewish-owned summer cottages in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal, defacing at least two with anti-Jewish hate messages and swastikas.
Quebec Provincial Police are investigating the break-ins in Val Morin, 60 miles northwest of Montreal, the Montreal Gazette reported Monday.
No one was in the homes during the incidents, the newspaper reported.
The vandals broke into about 15 of the 50 Jewish-owned homes in the area, Pinkas Feferkorn, director of the Val Morin synagogue, told the Gazette. He said furniture was damaged, and clothes and toys were thrown out windows. Swastikas were spray-painted on the outside of one house. In another, swastikas were painted all over the interior, along with at least one phrase: “F— Juif [Jew].”
In 2005, vandals broke into a Val Morin synagogue and desecrated 300 holy books. Three years later the town won a legal battle and stopped the Jewish community from using two chalets as a synagogue and school.
Since then, Jewish residents have been on better terms with their non-Jewish neighbors, Feferkorn said.
“That’s why it’s such a shock — we come here two months a year and we don’t bother anybody,” he said.
In the nearby town of Val David, several suspicious fires were set in 2007, including some in a neighborhood where about 50 Chasidic Jewish families own cottages.
Over the years, tensions have marked relations between Chasidic communities in the Laurentians and their non-Jewish neighbors.