Incendiary device thrown at front doors of Vancouver synagogue, says Jewish federation

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver said Friday an “incendiary device” was thrown at the front doors of a synagogue in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “disgusting act of antisemitism.”

Vancouver police said the case was being investigated as an act of arson and possible hate crime.

The federation said in a statement the incident occurred at the Schara Tzedeck synagogue at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and that damage was minor and no one was hurt.

The federation calls the alleged incident a “deliberate act of hate” and an “attempt to intimidate” the Jewish community.

Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt said people were inside the synagogue after services around 9:20 p.m. on Thursday when they heard a “bang” outside.

But it was a passerby who alerted them that their building was on fire, before a member of the synagogue put out the flames with his jacket, said Rosenblatt while pointing to the scorched front door on Friday morning.

The federation said the Vancouver Police Department and a fire inspector searched the building before declaring it safe to be reopened. Extra police patrols are being put in place at local Jewish institutions.

The incident comes after bullet holes were found at two Jewish schools in Montreal and Toronto in recent days.

“A synagogue in Vancouver was attacked last night in another disgusting act of antisemitism,” Trudeau said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We cannot let this hate or these acts of violence stand. This is not the Canada we want to be.”

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