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March 12, 2021 3:59 pm
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Montreal Police Arrest Man in Connection With Desecration of Synagogue

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Desecrated Torah scrolls at the Congregation Sepharde Kol Yehouda Synagogue in Montreal. Photo: B’nai Brith Canada

Canadian Jews expressed relief this week after police in Montreal arrested a man in connection with the desecration of a synagogue in the city last year.

In a statement on Thursday, B’nai Brith Canada said it had been informed by Montreal police that the man, named as Patrice Belley-Gervais, was arrested on Thursday and appeared in court. His next court date is set for April 30, and he is facing one charge of breaking and entering.

After a lengthy closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, congregants entering the Congregation Sepharde Kol Yehouda in Côte Saint-Luc on May 27, 2020 found that the small institution had been ransacked, with some religious items, including Torah scrolls, dumped on the floor, and others stuffed into toilets.

“Some of these items are considered extremely sacred in Judaism, to the extent that they are typically buried in a cemetery rather than disposed of in any other manner,” B’nai Brith noted.

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The organization’s CEO, Michael Mostyn, expressed gratitude to the police for making the arrest.

“We are thankful and relieved that a suspect has been arrested in connection with this deplorable incident,”  Mostyn said. “The wanton desecration of places of worship must carry consequences, regardless of motivation.”

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