Some Hasidic Jews say hate incidents against them are increasing


Some members of the Hasidic Community in Outremont feel that there has been a spike in hate-related incidents targeting them.

"Sometimes it's a car passing by yelling slurs," said Sam Muller, a Hasidic Jewish community activist. "Other times it's a car passing by with a water gun and spraying, (at you), most of the time, there's nothing you can do. By the time you look at the car, he's long gone."

He added, "after incidents happen, children are worried to play outside, they're worried to go to school, they don't know if something will happen (to them)."

Muller provided CJAD 800 with a recording of two separate incidents.

One ocurred three weeks ago at the Ahavath Israel Viznitz Synagogue on Van Horne and Durocher. 

According to the video description, a man drove up to the Synagogue, yelled anti-Semtic slurs, and threw eggs at a group of Hasidic people. In the video, you see the car drive back around and approach the group for a second time.

"You don't know what the next thing will be, if the guy will come out to hurt you, or harm you, or if he just wants to yell at you," Muller said.

In another incident in November, you can see a trucker approach a Hasidic man, steal his hat, throw it in his truck, and get into the passenger seat while the driver is slowly approaching.

Muller adds that the rhetoric some MNAs have used isn't helping reduce tensions. 

"It doesn't help when elected provincial leaders show a lack of respect towards religion," he said. "(Some) elected officials show a disrespect towards religious garb, or uniforms, or dress codes."

Borough Mayor Philipe Tomlinson tells CJAD 800 that while he hasn't seen the statistics, he hopes opening dialogues between the Hasidics and non-Hasidics will help reduce tensions.

"I just hope that if we have a better dialogue, that there won't be more of those incidents," Tomlinson said. "It's a work in progress, it's a daily fight to make sure things get better, but we're going to tackle it."

Meantime, Montreal police confirmed they're investigating the egg throwing incident. 

They said, "the SPVM takes seriously any criminal act committed on its territory. The mandate of the SPVM is to conduct an investigation based on facts and not according to a group of belonging."