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Swastikas mar historic Orthodox synagogue in Montreal

“This vile act shows us that Jew-hatred is alive and well in Canada,” according to Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Swastikas on the front doors and adjacent brick facade of the Bagg Street Shul in Montreal, Canada, March 2023. Source: Twitter/Michal Cotler-Wunsch.
Swastikas on the front doors and adjacent brick facade of the Bagg Street Shul in Montreal, Canada, March 2023. Source: Twitter/Michal Cotler-Wunsch.

Vandals painted swastikas on a historic Montreal synagogue earlier this week.

The hateful symbols were discovered on the front doors and adjacent brick facade of the Bagg Street Shul, Quebec’s “oldest living synagogue building,” which traces its origins back to around 1900. The Orthodox congregation is the only active synagogue on the site, which once housed more than two dozen congregations.

It became a  local heritage site in 1998.

“This vile act shows us that Jew-hatred is alive and well in Canada, and it’s time for allies to join the Jewish community in confronting it,” Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted.

B’nai Brith Canada tweeted: “The cowardly act of spray painting Nazi symbols on Jewish institutions must be universally denounced by all and perpetrators prosecuted.”

Michal Cotler-Wunsh, a former Knesset member and human-rights advocate, also posted a photo of the vandalized synagogue on Twitter.

“Heartbreaking,” she wrote. “Bagg Street Shul in my hometown of Montreal is the sole survivor of a vanished Jewish past in its neighborhood and still houses a flourishing religious community.”

Cotler-Wunsch moved to the city from Israel when she was 8 after her mother married Irwin Cotler, a former member of the Canadian Parliament who served for several years as Canada’s special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism.

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