Jewish summer camp accuses Laval club of discrimination

A Côte Saint-Luc summer camp is outraged, claiming a trampoline club in Laval refused its business — for being Jewish.

Leaders of Camp Ohr Menachem say a Laval trampoline club refused their business because they’re Jewish

Rabbi Levi Raskin says the children at the Côte Saint-Luc day camp had been going to the trampoline club in Laval for years. (CBC)

A CôteSaint-Luc summer camp is outraged, claiming a trampoline club in Laval refused its business  for being Jewish.

Rabbi Levi Raskin says the children at his camp have been going to AcrosportBarani for years, so it came as a shock when he was told they were not welcome anymore.

“I called them and I said, ‘Can I make a reservation?’ They said ‘We're not making any reservations,’ so I said, ‘Why not?’ She said, ‘Because you're a Jewish camp,’” said Raskin.

“They didn't even ask what camp you are in. The first thing was, ‘Are you a Jewish camp?’ — which was pretty shocking.”

Miscommunication, not discrimination: club

The club owner’s son, François Leblanc, said the incident is a misunderstanding and no one at the centre ever meant to discriminate.

“We are a family business that is 100 per cent francophone. We don’t express ourselves well in English. There was a misunderstanding,” Leblanc said.

Leblanc said there have been problems in the past, and the person on the phone meant to say there had been issues with camps from that specific Jewish community.

“There was a misunderstanding. It’s not that we don’t accept Jews. It’s that every time we have an issue with a camp, it happens to be a Jewish one,” he said, adding that another group of Jewish children visited the club earlier this week without any problems.

Leblanc said the children from Camp Ohr Menachem refuse to follow the rules and bounce on the trampoline while holding onto holy books and pendants — which he says is dangerous and unacceptable.

Raskin said that’s not true and filed a complaint with Jewish organization B'nai B'rith Canada.

The group said the incident is a serious violation of human rights and is demanding an apology.