Montreal Jewish elementary school Yeshiva Gedola was shot at for the second time in less than one week.
Montreal Police (SPVM) received calls around 5 a.m. on Sunday Nov. 12 concerning the sound of gunshots near the school in the city’s Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood.
Witnesses told police that a car was seen rapidly fleeing the scene. The SPVM set up a security perimeter to investigate the incident and will be looking at security cameras in the area as well as interviewing witnesses. There are no suspects or arrests at this time and police confirmed that no one was injured.
This is the second reported shooting at Montreal Jewish schools this week. On Nov. 9, bullet holes were found in the front doors of Yeshiva Gedola and Azrieli Talmud Torah.
Two days earlier, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Montreal-area synagogue and a Federation building. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Also last week, a violent clash between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students at Concordia University saw one student arrested. Three people, including two security guards, suffered minor injuries.
“The fact that they allowed themselves to attack the same place once again, I think shows the gravity of the situation,” said former member of Montreal City Council Lionel Perez at Yeshiva Gedola on the morning of Nov. 12.
Since last Thursday, there has been a greater police presence in the area as well as additional security measures in the community, Perez said. He called on police to redouble their efforts to make sure parents feel safe sending their children to school.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also made an appearance at the school to show her support for the Jewish community.
“My message for those who think that this is a way to spread their message, it is not,” she said. “Those who are doing these acts, it’s important for me and everyone else to know that the SPVM is working very hard and will find them and there will be consequences.”
Côte-des-Neiges city councillor Sonny Moroz praised the local police station, PDQ 26, the largest police station in Montreal, for their efforts to keep the community safe. He said that there is always a police car present at drop off and pick up times at local institutions and encouraged people to call 9-1-1 or the Federation CJA community support line with any concerns.
“I’m thinking about everybody who has to consider the safety of their family above their education, above their normal routines,” he told The CJN. “I hope that they hear the message that everybody is doing everything they can to ensure that things get less stressful for them immediately and that there is a call to calm.
“Anything people can do to highlight any additional vulnerability, potential risk or feeling of insecurity, those needs will be heard and met as quickly as possible,” he said.
Moroz later attended a press conference at the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs Community Center (FAMAS) in Montreal that brought together ten women community leaders from Black, Arab, Filipino, Jewish, Muslim and Anglo communities to speak up about hate and to encourage Montrealers to stand together against violence.
“It was nice to be in a room full of women community leaders calling for peace and everybody being on the same side,” said Moroz. “Everyone in that room expressed that these bad actors who are targeting institutions are not representative of anybody in that room.”