COTE ST. LUC - Vandals struck at four synagogues and a Jewish school in Cote St. Luc and Hampstead very early Sunday morning, hurling rocks through windows of the buildings.

The synagogues struck were Dorshei Emet, Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem, Beth Rambam and Beth Zion, while the Yavne Academy in Cote St. Luc was also vandalized, Rabbi Reuben Poupko said.

Poupko, chairman of the Jewish Community Security Coordinating Committee, believes the vandals attacked very late at night, likely around 2 a.m.

"These are cowards who act under the cover of darkness, who fling rocks in the middle of the night, and they will not determine how the Jewish community behaves or gathers for prayer or for study," Poupko said. "We will continue to use our institutions despite these continued assaults on our buildings."

Police have been alerted to the incident, and say there is surveillance video available to assist with the investigation.

Just two months ago, another synagogue in Laval suffered extensive damage after it, too, was targeted by vandals who placed a garden hose into a pipe that leads into the building's oil tank and left it to flood overnight.

About 2,300 litres of oil spilled onto the back lawn, causing contamination and other damage to the Young Israel of Chomedey synagogue.

The cost of the damage ran up to $100,000, but within weeks the synagogue received about $30,000 in donations to help with the repairs.

In another troubling incident last March, a synagogue in Outremont was defaced with swastikas.

Vandals broke into the Congregation Ahavat Israel at the corner of Van Horne Ave. and Durocher St. overnight and threw religious symbols such as prayer shawls to the ground and drew swastikas on the pulpit.