Sept. 8, 2006
Another school attacked
Montreal Orthodox site firebombed on Saturday.
KATHARINE HAMER EDITOR
Just as the school year was about to begin, another Jewish school
in Montreal became the target of what appears to be an anti-Semitic
attack. The Skver-Toldos Orthodox Jewish Boys school in the neighborhood
of Outremont was hit with a Molotov cocktail in the early hours
of Sept. 2.
The school had been vacated by a dozen students only minutes before
the attack, which was captured on a surveillance camera. Montreal
police are still looking for a suspect believed to be in his mid-20s
who threw the explosive device into the school's main entranceway.
School authorities say it will cost $150,000 to repair the damage
An anonymous donor has already offered a $5,000 reward for information
that helps police catch the culprit.
The attack was immediately condemned by both B'nai Brith and Canadian
"It is a sad day for all Quebecers when we witness, in a province
so well known for its commitment to tolerance and vigilance in the
fight against all forms of racism, the violent targeting of a religious
building," said CJC, Quebec region, president Jeffrey K. Boro.
"This dangerous and despicable act of violence against a Jewish
institution occurs at a time when anti-Semitic incidents are on
the rise," said B'nai Brith Canada's executive vice-president
"A mere few months ago, at the outset of the most recent Middle
East crisis, B'nai Brith had issued a security alert to Jewish community
institutions, synagogues, schools and individuals urging for greater
vigilance," said Dimant. "In a short period of time, we
have experienced bomb threats against synagogues, the stoning of
visibly Orthodox Jews leaving their evening prayer services, a physical
assault of a rabbi, swastikas on Jewish institutions and many other
hate-filled acts. [The] attack on a Jewish school ... underscores
once again the need for increased vigilance and close co-ordination
between law enforcement and community stakeholders."
Jewish community leaders are meeting this week to discuss heightened
security for all schools and community buildings in Montreal.
More than $2 million has already been spent on security upgrades
at Montreal-area schools and day cares after the April 2004 firebombing
of a United Talmud Torah elementary school.
Nineteen-year-old Sleiman El-Merhebi was convicted of that attack,
which he said was in revenge for Israel's killing of Hamas leader
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
El-Merhebi was released from prison in May after serving two-thirds
of a 40-month sentence for arson.
His mother, Rouba El-Merhebi Faud, is facing charges of being an
accessory after the fact and will return to court Sept. 25, when
she is expected to have a trial date set.
El-Merhebi Faud pleaded not guilty in late 2004 and has been free
on $10,000 bail.