Montreal’s oldest synagogue building vandalized with swastikas

MONTREAL (JTA) — Vandals covered the oldest synagogue building in the province of Quebec with Nazi swastikas over the weekend, prompting a Canadian Jewish watchdog to call on Montreal mayor Valérie Plante to do more to combat the anti- Semitism.

Leaders of the Bagg Street Synagogue – located just off Saint Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, at the heart of Montreal’s Jewish community – are said to have met with the Montreal police hate crimes unit on Wednesday. Photos taken by B’nai Brith Canada show swastikas spray painted on the synagogue’s front doors.

The Bagg Street synagogue, or Solomon’s Temple of the People, traces its history back to 1906. But it moved into its current location in 1921, where it remains and is the oldest synagogue building in continuous use in Quebec. It inherited furnishings from the historic Shaar Hashomayim synagogue when that congregation moved to a new location in 1922, according to archivist Hannah Srour-Zackon.

Although formal membership has declined, the Bagg Street synagogue hosts free holiday services and welcomes visiting tourists to explore the city’s former Jewish neighborhood. In the first half of the 20th century, a boom in Jewish immigration led to the establishment of at least a dozen synagogues in the area.

Bhagg Street is the only one left. Montreal’s Holocaust museum plans to move into a new location in the neighborhood by 2025.

“Although the community is small, the synagogue reflects the history of Montreal’s Jews and the attack on it is disturbing to the community,” wrote Marvin Rotrand, a former city councilor who is now the national director of the B’nai Brith League. of Human Rights. in a letter to Plante. He urged Plaintiff to be “more proactive in tackling anti-Semitism.”

“I stand with the Jewish community and strongly condemn these anti-semitic acts that have no place in our society,” Plainte tweeted.

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