In the early hours of Monday morning, a Molotov cocktail was reportedly thrown at a Jewish community center in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, sparking an investigation by the Montreal police.
According to police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant, the incident occurred around 1 a.m. when an incendiary device was thrown through the front door window of a building on Décarie Boulevard, causing damage to one of the entrances.
Rabbi Saul Emanuel, the executive director for the Jewish Community Council of Montreal (JCC), confirmed that while the device made it through the door, there were no injuries. However, charred floors, walls, and a blown-out glass panel on the front door were reported.
“We really feel attacked,” said Rabbi Emanuel, emphasizing that despite the incident, the community remains resilient and will not be intimidated.
The arson squad of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) is leading the investigation, with the hate crimes unit being informed but not yet actively involved. Authorities plan to review CCTV footage from the area to aid in identifying the culprits.
When the attack occured
The attack occurred shortly after approximately 60 members of the Jewish community gathered in the building to discuss utilizing a federal program for improved security at their schools and organizations. Local members of Parliament, including Liberal Anthony Housefather, expressed fear and concern, citing the escalating number of targeted incidents against Jewish buildings across Canada.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante reassured the public that the police are diligently working to apprehend those responsible and reiterated her commitment to a city of peace and inclusion. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the antisemitic violence, labeling it “deplorable and unacceptable” on social media.
This incident follows a series of attacks in the city, including firebombings that caused minor damage to a synagogue and a Jewish organization, as well as gunshots hitting two Jewish school buildings. In response, community leaders are urging the police to allocate more resources to ensure the protection of Jewish institutions.
Marvin Rotrand, the national director of B’nai Brith Canada, emphasized the need for increased resources for the police hate squad unit, stating that while the community appreciates heightened police visibility, it is not a comprehensive solution.