Vandals target Jewish centre on the West Island
A Jewish synagogue and community centre in the west island was vandalized overnight with a graffiti message spray painted across the front door reading “It’s the end.”
Police were on the scene at the Gutnick Mazel Jewish Centre in Dollard-des-Ormeaux Tuesday investigating the incident.
Director Rabbi Yehoshua Yarmush said incidents like this one are uncommon at the centre, which houses a synagogue, a mikveh and a day camp.
Yarmush said he did not expect to be meeting with police on Tuesday.
“Not a pleasant thing, it's a shame and it's unfortunate,” he said. “’It's the end,’ what could that mean? I think it could be hate. It could be coming from all kinds of meanings. Just to spray that, to take the initiative to spray those words onto a synagogue, a community centre, takes a lot.”
Since opening in 1999, they’ve had five similar incidents, including graffiti of a swastika.
Volunteer cleaner Corey Fleischer appeared Tuesday afternoon to clean the graffiti off the synagogue for free.
“It's a service I provide to the entire city of Montreal, any sort of hate crime,” he explained.
Yarmush said he answered children’s questions about the vandalism.
“It gives me the opportunity to tell them that in the world there's good and bad and with more good, we push away the bad,” he said.
Police say they have no leads yet but do confirm their hate crime unit is investigating.