Montreal police investigating gunshots at two Jewish schools early in the morning of Nov. 9

Yeshiva Gedolah in Montreal, where bullets were fired through the front doors twice in November, 2023.

Two Jewish schools in Montreal had a bullet shot through their front doors early in the morning of Nov. 9. No one was in the schools at the time and there were no injuries.

Police received calls around 8 a.m. on Thursday concerning bullet holes discovered in the front doors of Azrieli Talmud Torah and Yeshiva Gedolah. Montreal police (SPVM) has not yet confirmed whether the incidents are connected.

SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said that no one was injured at the time of the shooting, which is believed to have occurred overnight. One bullet casing was found at the scene. An investigation into the situation is ongoing.

“It is unconscionable that anyone would fire a gun toward a school in Montreal—whether there are children present or not,” Eta Yudin, vice-president, Quebec, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said in a press release.

“This incident represents a significant escalation in the threats we’ve experienced in the past month. The stress and anxiety this creates for the Jewish community cannot be understated, but it is also of utmost importance that we continue to take part in Jewish life. We will stay vigilant, but we will not be intimidated.” 

In the last two days, the Federation has met twice with Montreal’s police chief, with Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, and with federal and provincial public safety ministers to ensure the safety of the community, said Yair Szlak, CEO of Federation CJA.

The shootings came two days after Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue and Federation building in Montreal. On Nov. 8, pro-Israel students at Concordia University who had a display about the 240 hostages kidnapped from Israel by Hamas, were harassed by a pro-Palestinian group. The clash led to one arrest and three minor injuries.

After just holding a press conference about the firebombings on Tuesday, Federation CJA alongside the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) held another meeting Thursday condemning the shootings.

“When we said that the line had been crossed, I never thought that two days later that line had been pushed even further,” said Szlak.

“The Jewish community with over 300 years of history in Quebec is under attack and antisemitism is not a problem the Jews can solve.”

Szlak addressed a pro-Palestine protest taking place in downtown Montreal today, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, when synagogues were destroyed in Germany, in a precursor to the Holocaust.

Szlak displayed a promotional poster for the protest, which shows an image of glass being shattered, a direct reference to Kristallnacht, the ‘night of shattered glass.’

These protests “demonstrate hate and reiterate their calls time and again against the Jewish community,” Szlak said. “There are those who would try to import the war going on in Israel to the streets of Montreal.”

Hate speech is occurring at every rally, Szlak said.

“There is no question in our mind that there is a direct correlation between hate speech and the actions that we have seen this week in terms of the Molotov cocktail bottles and the horrible situation at Concordia, where not only hate speech but antisemitic slurs were thrown at Jewish kids and of course what happened this morning at the two schools.”