Montreal

Montreal synagogues receive hateful letters during Hanukkah

Montreal police are investigating complaints filed by two Montreal synagogues after they received copies of the same hateful letter on Monday containing an antisemitic message.

Pages contained hateful messages and antisemitic imagery directed at Jewish people

Shaare Zedek in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was one of the synagogues targeted. (Google Maps)

Montreal police are investigating complaints filed by two Montreal synagogues after they received copies of the same hateful letter on Monday containing an antisemitic message.

Both locations, Shaare Zedek in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Beth Ora in Saint-Laurent, immediately contacted police and turned the material over to officers.

Julian Lewin, executive director of Shaare Zedek, said that the letter came with a hand-written address and no return information.

Lewin said the note contained the image of a bloody star of David with a swastika inside it.

"It's scary. It's obviously a hate letter," Lewin told CBC.

The incident coincides with the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, which began Dec. 12 and ends the evening of Dec. 20.

Howard Yancovitch, president of Beth Ora, said that the congregation has been alerted and he's reached out to other Montreal synagogues to see if they've received anything similar.

He said that they are encouraging everyone to "remain positive" and "try to keep it in perspective."

Neither of the synagogues has been targeted with any major hate incident in the past, aside from a few minor instances of vandalism, both men said.

According to B'nai Brith Canada, another synagogue in Toronto, Adath Israel Congregation, also received a copy of the same note. Police in Toronto are also investigating that incident.