Residents of North York building say notes bearing swastikas were left on doors, and mezuzahs were vandalized. Mayor John Tory condemned the notes in a statement Monday.
Toronto Star, by eb. 20, 2017
Toronto police have launched an investigation after “disgusting” notes with anti-Semitic messages were left on doors at a condominium in the city, residents say.
“It’s absolutely disgusting,” a resident of the building at 233 Beecroft Rd. in North York said. “In my 15-plus years I’ve lived here, I’ve never had to lock my door . . . but I’ll be locking the door tonight.”
Photos shared with the Star show a small note bearing the phrase “no Jews” above a swastika written in red ink. Mezuzahs, bearing scripture from Torah and hung on doorposts, were vandalized or stolen, residents confirmed.
Helen Chaiton, who has lived in the building for 18 years, said her rabbi had visited Sunday afternoon to replace her mezuzah that was “completely vandalized.” Hours later, in the evening, her new mezuzah had been stolen with an “obscene message” left at her front door.
“At the foot of my door was the F-word, and a swastika,” she said. “I am staying strong. I come from a family of Holocaust survivors.”
Chaiton said that on Sunday evening, she heard chiseling outside her door, and several knocks.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in Toronto. Our Jewish residents should not have to face hatred on their doorsteps,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement on Monday.
“These acts, and the people who carry them out, do not represent Toronto or Torontonians,” the mayor continued.
“We know these incidents — either rooted in Islamophobia or anti-Semitism — have a profound effect on the entire community and not just those immediate victims,” they said in a statement.
They also said that TPS did not see any noticeable increase in the number of hate-motivated incidents, and are encouraging the public to step forward and report an incident.
“Even if the incident does not meet the threshold for hate crime charges, police will still use the information provided to conduct an investigation that could lead to other criminal charges,” the statement read.
Rabbi Moshe Steiner, co-director of Uptown Chabad synagogue in North York, went knocking door-to-door in the building on Monday to provide new mezuzahs and assistance to residents.
“I met with three families. They are taking it seriously. They are confident that they will overcome,” he told the Star.
Steiner also said that the synagogue would continue to offer free mezuzah scrolls to any residents who were targeted.
“We are coming together as a community and will emerge stronger from this incident,” he said. “There has been outpouring of support from both within the Jewish community and beyond.”
Last Friday, a small anti-Islam protest formed outside Masjid Toronto mosque with protestors holding signs reading “No Islam.” Another group of people responded with a counterprotest to support the Muslim community.
“One of my most important responsibilities, together with my Council colleagues, is to safeguard the accepting, safe and stable environment within which the world’s most diverse urban population lives here in Toronto,” Tory said.
Read the complete article at Toronto Star.