Synagogue attack in Germany by Yair Szlak, Chief Executive Officer, Federation CJA

October 10, 2019

Yesterday, in the German city of Halle, a heavily armed gunman attempted to enter a synagogue as the local Jewish community gathered inside for Yom Kippur services. After failing to gain entry, the gunman proceeded to fire at people on the street, killing a woman in the vicinity of the city's Jewish cemetery and a man in a small Turkish restaurant nearby. The perpetrator, who live-streamed the attack, was uttering antisemitic and xenophobic statements throughout. The police have arrested a 27-year old German man. The German federal prosecutor suspects the killer was motivated by antisemitism and far-right ideology.

In response to the horrific event, Gail Adelson-Marcovitz, President of Federation CJA, issued the following statement:

"Our hearts are broken and we are horrified by this senseless act of violence that has struck the Jewish community of Halle. We mourn the loss of the two bystanders whose lives were taken from them and we stand in solidarity with their families. To those who were injured, we wish a full and speedy recovery."

Federation CJA Community Security Network has been and remains in communication with our local security partners, global Jewish security colleagues, and local law enforcement. At no time has there been any information to suggest a specific threat against the Montreal Jewish community.

We thank Montreal Police Service for their steadfast support and increased presence around Jewish facilities over Yom Kippur, which Federation CJA was pleased to help coordinate. Sébastien de Montigny of the PDQ26 shared a statement in a special release yesterday.

To the members of the Jewish Community,

As you celebrate Yom Kippur, we are aware that the unfortunate event in Germany today affects the sense of security in your community. We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation.

Although no direct or indirect threat is known on our territory at this time, we would like to inform you that our patrollers are paying special attention to synagogues [and surrounding areas]. We remain vigilant and focused on police visibility, to increase the feeling of security. Our patrollers are present and available to meet with you and answer your questions if needed.

Sébastien de Montigny
Poste de quartier 26

We urge Jewish institutions to maintain a healthy sense of vigilance and adhere to security protocols. We also remind community members to say something if they see something. In a non-emergency situation, contact the police at 514-280-2222. For more information and tips on how to increase your security confidence and awareness, you can also contact our Community Security Hotline at 514-343-4343

From the Desk of Yair Szlak
Yair Szlak, LL.B
Chief Executive Officer, Federation CJA

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