‘Incendiary device’ thrown at Vancouver synagogue

The Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver says an “incendiary device” was thrown at the front doors of a synagogue in the city and police are investigating.

It says in a statement online that the incident occurred at the Schara Tzedeck synagogue on Oak Street 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.

It says the Vancouver Police Department and a fire inspector searched the building before declaring it safe to be reopened.

The federation says extra police patrols are being put in place at local Jewish institutions.

B.C. Premier David Eby confirmed the incident on social media.

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“This disgusting act of antisemitism is reprehensible and has absolutely no place in B.C.,” he said.

“We stand with the Jewish community in B.C. and unequivocally condemn antisemitism and all forms of hatred.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also posted on social media regarding the incident.

“A synagogue in Vancouver was attacked last night in another disgusting act of antisemitism,” Trudeau said on X.

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“We cannot let this hate or these acts of violence stand. This is not the Canada we want to be.”

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Later Friday morning, Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim called the incident a “heinous act of anti-Semitism.

“This is an attack on a sacred place for Vancouver’s Jewish Community. To whoever has committed this crime, the VPD is using every resource they need to find and arrest you. We will not rest until you face justice,” Sim said in a statement.

“We are in constant contact with the VPD, and this investigation remains active and ongoing.”

Sim said out of an abundance of caution, the Vancouver police has deployed additional officers to all synagogues and Jewish schools across Vancouver to provide additional security and reassurance to community members.

Vancouver police also put out a release later Friday morning and is labeling the incident as arson.

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“Investigators believe an accelerant was used to light a fire at the front of the building,” Const. Tania Visintin said.

“This fire was intentionally set at a place of worship for the Jewish community.

“While we collect evidence to identify the person responsible, we’re also working closely with faith leaders and community members to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Anyone with possible information is asked to contact Vancouver police at 604-717-2541.

The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

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

— With files from Canadian Press

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