Molotov cocktails thrown at Montreal-area synagogue and Jewish center

Investigators find broken bottles, burn marks on front door of Jewish house of worship in Dollard-des-Ormeau, as antisemitism incidents spike in wake of Hamas attack on October 7

The front doors of Congregation Beth Tikvah in the Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeau were hit with a firebomb, November 6, 2023. (B'nai Brith Canada via JTA)
The front doors of Congregation Beth Tikvah in the Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeau were hit with a firebomb, November 6, 2023. (B'nai Brith Canada via JTA)

JTA — Police are investigating attempted arson attempts after vandals threw Molotov cocktails at a Montreal-area synagogue and a Jewish center across the street overnight on Monday.

Investigators found broken bottles and burn marks on the front door of Congregation Beth Tikvah in the suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeau and on the back door of the nearby Federation CJA building. About 10 percent of the suburb’s residents are Jewish.

Montreal police said that no one was injured, and the damage to the buildings was minor. No suspects have been arrested as of Tuesday afternoon.

“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 Quebec regional director of the B’nai Brith watchdog who is also the cantor at Congregation Beth Tikvah. “We urge the authorities to investigate and arrest those responsible for this violent act targeting our community.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the incident on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“The attempted arson at @FederationCJA West Island and Congregation Beth Tikvah in Montreal is deeply disturbing,” he wrote. “Antisemitism is completely unacceptable and must always be condemned – our government will continue to work with Jewish communities to combat this hatred.”

Since Hamas-led terrorists killed some 1,400 people and took over 240 as hostages in a devastating attack on Israel on October 7, and Israel subsequently went to war against Hamas in Gaza, Montreal police have tallied 48 hate crimes and hate incidents against Jews, CBC reported. In comparison, Montreal police reported 72 hate crimes and incidents against all minorities for all of 2022.

Antisemitic incidents have spiked around the world over the past month, with synagogues as frequent targets. Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Berlin synagogue two weeks ago.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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