Vancouver’s Schara Tzedeck was lit aflame—and the shul decided to leave the door charred. Here’s why

Schara Tzedeck fire damaged doors
On June 17, more than two weeks after Vancouver's Schara Tzedeck Synagogue was targeted by an arsonist, the police tape remained in place and the fire-blackened front door has not been cleaned up–deliberately, the rabbi says. (Vita Kolodny photo)

It’s been more than two weeks since an unknown suspect set fire to the front doors of Vancouver’s Schara Tzedeck synagogue on May 30, while people were inside attending a late-night meeting. A passerby saw the flames and called the police while a shul member used his jacket to douse the flames.

No one was hurt, but the incident left one of the building’s ornate silver doors blackened—and the community shaken. Vancouver police tasked the Major Crimes Unit to investigate, but to date have not released any updates.

Schara Tzedeck was the eighth Canadian synagogue targeted by violent attacks since Oct. 7—but not the last. Another attack targeted the glass windows at Beth Jacob in Kitchener on June 7. A week later in London, Ont., on June 14, someone threw a rock through a glass door of the Beth Tefilah Synagogue.

While politicians in B.C. made a point to attend Shabbat services after the Vancouver attack, Schara Tzedeck’s rabbi has a message for them: this isn’t surprising. In his words, when you permit hate speech against Jews to go unchecked, and when you gloss over chants at university encampments that glorify Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7, don’t be surprised when hateful or ignorant people take it a step further. On The CJN Daily, Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt tells us what’s happened since the attack—and why the damaged spot has not been fixed.

What we talked about:

  • Read about the initial attack on Vancouver’s Schara Tzedeck synagogue in The CJN
  • Check out the London Police Service news release on Beth Tefilah’s window being smashed on June 14, 2024
  • Watch Grand Chief Lynda Prince of British Columbia express solidarity with the Vancouver synagogue, on behalf of the Indigenous Embassy in Jerusalem, during a site visit after the arson incident

Credits:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine.  We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.