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November 13, 2018 11:52 am

Toronto Police Launch Hate Crime Investigation as Yeshiva Students Earn Praise for Defending Themselves Against Antisemitic Assailants

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A Toronto Police Service vehicle. Photo: Reuters / Chris Helgren.

Police in Toronto have a launched a hate crime investigation after four yeshiva students were attacked and robbed on Sunday night by a group of drunken youths shouting antisemitic abuse.

The four teenagers — students at the Canadian city’s Yeshivas Lubavitch and identifiable as Jews from their haredi style of dress — were walking home on Fairholme Avenue, located in a traditionally Jewish neighborhood, at around 8 p.m. when a larger group of young people saw their kippot, started making “derogatory comments,” and began punching and kicking two of the boys, according to police, the Canadian Jewish News reported.

According to Rabbi Akiva Wagner, the principal of the yeshiva attended by the boys, the four students did not remain passive in the face of the attack.

“The boys were capable of looking out for themselves, it is the only reason they avoided something more serious,” Rabbi Wagner told the CJN.

One of the assailants, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested by police at the scene.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, along with several Canadian politicians and community leaders, took to social media en masse to condemn the attack, urging the public to assist the police with their investigation.

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