Skip to main content

Jewish school in Montreal targeted by gunfire a second time

Share

A Jewish school in Montreal was targeted by gunfire on Sunday for the second time this week.

Police were called to the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood around 5 a.m., where gunshots were reported on Deacond Road, near Van Horne Avenue.

Upon arrival, officers discovered bullet holes in the facade of the Jewish School Yeshiva Gedola.

No one was inside the building at the time and there were no injuries. Witnesses told Montreal police (SPVM) they saw a vehicle speeding off after the shots were fired. 

"Bullet casings were found on the ground," confirmed police spokesperson Véronique Dubuc.

THREE SHOOTINGS THIS WEEK

It's the third time this week a Montreal Jewish school has been shot at. 

On Thursday, police discovered bullet holes at Yeshiva Gedola as well as at United Talmud Torahs of Montreal Inc.

Those first two shootings are being investigated as hate crimes, police confirmed on Friday.

SPVM statistics gathered from Oct. 7 (the start of the Israel-Hamas war) to Nov. 7 reveal 73 hate crime incidents targeting Jewish communities in the city, as well as 25 targeting the Arab-Muslim community.

Police search an area near the Yeshiva Gedolah Jewish school after shots were fired at the school in Montreal, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

"Everybody feels a bit nervous. of course, I mean you're living right next door to where bullet shots were fired," said Charles Abelson, who lives nearby the school. Following the shooting earlier this week, several parents said they felt uneasy bringing their kids to classes

Yeshiva Gedolah houses an early childhood center (CPE), as well as primary, secondary and post-secondary classes.

JEWISH COMMUNITY 'UNDER ATTACK': MAYOR

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante condemned the shooting at a press briefing Sunday morning.

"The Jewish community in Montreal is currently under attack. It's a big issue, it's a big problem," she told reporters, adding that Montreal must remain "a city of peace."

"We can have opinions that differ [...] But there is no reason, there is no reason that justifies shooting at an elementary school, at our communities. An anti-Semitic act like this has no place in Montreal."

Former municipal opposition leader Lionel Perez also spoke Sunday. His child once attended Yeshiva Gedola, and he's also a former member of its board of directors.

"Unfortunately, history repeats itself over time," he said. 

"Every time there are events in the Middle East, there are Jewish institutions that are targeted," he added. "That's the beast of anti-Semitism."

"They want to try to scare us into closing our schools, into not educating our children," said Perez. "They will fail." 

Quebec Premier Francois Legault also issued a statement Sunday, calling for an end to hateful acts in his province.

"My heart goes out to Quebec's Jewish community, which has again been the victim of an attack on one of its schools. Every effort will be made to find and punish the culprits. The Quebec nation is a peaceful nation. Let's not import the hatred and violence we see elsewhere in the world," it reads.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to make an official statement on the matter, but reposted a message from MP and House Leader Karin Gould on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

"I am horrified to learn of another incident of gunshots fired at the same Jewish school in Montreal early this morning. Thank goodness no one was harmed, but this threatening anti-Semitic violence cannot go on," she wrote.

MP Marc Miller, who represents a downtown Montreal riding, deemed the shooting "cowardly." Fellow city Liberal lawmaker Anthony Housefather said antisemitic acts "cannot be allowed to become the new normal."

'MIND-BOGGLING' and 'DISTURBING'

"This is absolutely mind-boggling," said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of Jewish advocacy group B'nai Brith Canada, in a statement responding to Sunday's shooting.

"How in the world can this be going on in a civilized country? We certainly hope Montreal police can get to the bottom of this and keep the Jewish community safe."

The Canadian Muslim Forum, a national advocacy group, called the shooting "very disturbing" in a statement issued late Sunday afternoon. 

The Forum also called on the SPVM to "restore a sense of security on the city's streets," adding it "calls for unity against all sorts of hate and violence."

Published with files from The Canadian Press and CTV's Matt Gilmour.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING Toronto police officer stabbed, suspect shot

The province's police watchdog is investigating after Toronto police say an officer was stabbed and a suspect was shot during an altercation in the city's west end on Friday afternoon.

Stay Connected