June 15th, 2024

Antisemitism anxiety at synagogues after week of attacks on Jewish institutions

By The Canadian Press on June 1, 2024.

A man walks past as a Vancouver Police Department patrol car sits in front of the Schara Tzedeck synagogue, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, May. 31, 2024. The Vancouver synagogue targeted by an arsonist earlier this week is set to hold its first service just days after the attack charred the building's front door and left the Jewish community shaken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Members of Canada’s Jewish community held Shabbat services Saturday morning following a week of attacks targeting schools and religious institutions that have raised fears of rising antisemitism.

In Vancouver, the Schara Tzedeck synagogue held its first service since what police describe as an act of arson charred the building’s front door on Thursday night.

Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt called it a “cowardly” act and encouraged members to come out Saturday to create strength in numbers.

The attack came after bullet holes were found at two Jewish schools in Montreal and Toronto in recent days.

In Toronto, members of a synagogue that was not directly targeted still felt unsettled and unnerved by the series of attacks they say have created a difficult environment.

Rabbi Edward Elkin of the First Narayever synagogue says he and the congregation are horrified by the attacks, but he’s trying to balance that with gratitude for the good will they feel from the vast majority of the wider community.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024.

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