The front glass doors of a synagogue in Thornhill were smashed in broad daylight on Wednesday, the synagogue’s rabbi tells CP24.
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of Chabad at Flamingo on Bathurst Street, south of Flamingo Road said he witnessed a suspect smashing the glass doors in the entryway of the Synagogue with chunks of rocks at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“The person went out of his way to climb over the debris to be able to approach our synagogue, and if you look at the video there’s clear pre-meditation, he thinks and re-thinks,” Rabbi Kaplan told CP24. “When you see the way he throws that stone, the malice and the hatred is really obvious.”
Kaplan said he contacted York Regional Police to inform them about the incident and they arrived at the scene later on Wednesday to begin an investigation.
He said police investigators have so far done a “marvelous” job looking into the incident.
“This is the ugliest and most grotesque form of hatred and racism being directed against a visible minority group. Any decent Canadian should be outraged,” Kaplan said, adding he hoped the surveillance footage he published on his Facebook page and circulated to media outlets would help catch the suspect.
B’nai Brith Canada said it had reached out to Chabad at Flamingo and was assisting them in any way possible.
“It is both despicable and lamentable that someone would feel the need to resort to such vile behaviour,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We trust that police will investigate this matter seriously.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 1-866-876-5423.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, local MPP Gila Martow condemned the vandalism, calling it “a deliberate act of hate against the Jewish community.”
“With Passover coming up, it is imperative that all community members are safe in their places of worship,” Martow said in an emailed statement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne tweeted that the “anti-Semitic vandalism that occurred at Chabad at Flamingo in Thornhill is reprehensible.”
“I stand strongly beside the congregants of this shul & Ontario’s Jewish community.”