The Ottawa Police Services hate crimes unit is investigating incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti at Ottawa’s two largest synagogues.
Congregants and shul officials arriving for morning prayers today at Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa’s largest Orthodox synagogue, discovered swastikas painted on the doors to the shul and swastikas and anti-Semitic and white supremacist hate messages painted on the side of the building. Jewish Federation of Ottawa signage on the Machzikei grounds was similarly vandalized.
Rabbi Michael Goldstein, the congregation’s executive director, said police were immediately called and the graffiti was removed.
A similar incident occurred last weekend at Kehillat Beth Israel (KBI), Ottawa’s major Conservative congregation. Officials at KBI filed a police report and had the graffiti removed quickly but did not make the incident public until after the attack at Machzikei Hadas.
KBI Co-President Stuart McCarthy told the media today that the decision to not publicize the incident was made to deny validation to the vandals.
As well, police continue to investigate an incident of anti-Semitic graffiti reported on Tuesday at the home of Anna Maranta, leader of the Glebe Minyan, a Jewish Renewal prayer and study group. Most of the group’s programs take place at Maranta’s home.
Anyone with knowledge of any of these incidents is urged to contact the Ottawa Police Services hate crimes unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2466.