Montreal Synagogue Associated With Legendary Singer Leonard Cohen Vandalized With Swastikas
A Montreal synagogue that was attended by legendary poet and singer Leonard Cohen during his life was targeted by antisemitic vandals on Wednesday.
A series of large swastikas were daubed in black paint on the doors of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, a 160-year-old Modern Orthodox synagogue that performed Cohen’s funeral when the performer passed away in 2016.
Police were summoned to the scene at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and arrested a 28-year-old man they said would be evaluated for mental health problems, according to local news reports.
The defacing of the synagogue was forthrightly condemned by Jewish groups and Canadian politicians across the spectrum.
“The Jewish community is outraged by today’s vile assault on Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Westmount,” the Montreal Jewish Federation declared in a statement. “This attack targets the entire community and all those who embrace civility and tolerance.”
The mayor of the Montreal district of Westmount, where the synagogue is located, denounced what she called “this antisemitic act.”
“I want to assure members of the congregation and the entire Jewish community that we are committed to working with them to combat hatred and to build bridges of understanding and solidarity between neighbors of all backgrounds,” Mayor Christina Smith said.
Canada’s Minister for International Development, Karina Gould, said that the “hateful, antisemitic act is completely abhorrent and unacceptable.”
“We all have an obligation to stand against hatred in all of its forms and to protect all Canadians from violent behavior like this,” Gould stated on Twitter. “I stand with all Jewish Canadians against this vile act of hatred.”