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Investigation underway after downtown Fredericton synagogue vandalized

Broken glass covers the front steps of the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton. (Jeane Armstrong/CBC - image credit)
Broken glass covers the front steps of the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton. (Jeane Armstrong/CBC - image credit)

Fredericton police say they are investigating whether vandalism at a synagogue in downtown Fredericton is the result of targeted hostility.

Police received a report that someone who noticed the damage on Saturday. They arrived to find the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue, near the corner of Westmorland and Brunswick streets, had been damaged.

Multiple windows were shattered.

"It's a very sad day in Fredericton to think that our fathers and forefathers have contributed so much to this city ... and this is what a few bad apples have done," said Ivan Lavine, past president of the synagogue.

Lavine says a repair company will take care of the damage on Saturday.

The synagogue already planned to add security cameras. Lavine said that will happen soon.

The vandalism comes on the heels of the top court for the United Nations ordering Israel to take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its war in Gaza.

Multiple windows were found shattered at the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue on Saturday.
Multiple windows were found shattered at the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue on Saturday.

Multiple windows were found shattered at the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue on Saturday. (Jeanne Armstrong/CBC)

There has been a rise of antisemitic and islamophobic incidents in Canada since fighting started between Israel and Hamas last October.

New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Kris Austin put out a statement on Saturday decrying the vandalism.

"There is no place in New Brunswick for antisemitism," said Austin.

"I want to express my support to the Jewish community and assure them our department has already engaged with local police to offer support and any needed assistance as they investigate."

Saturday marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Fredericton police say an investigation is underway. Police are asking anyone who might have information to contact them.

Members of the community are planning a vigil at the synagogue on Sunday afternoon.