Masked man targeted room they'd occupied
The masked man who firebombed an Orthodox Jewish school in
The man, who is believed by police to be in his 20s, remains at large.
The tapes show 12 religious-school students who spent Friday evening in the classroom leaving along the school's front sidewalk between and
As many as 20 students - age 14 to 16 - usually attend the regular Sabbath evening dinner and get-together in the classroom the firebomber initially targeted, school president
At two minutes past Saturday, the tapes show, the man lit a Molotov cocktail on the sidewalk in front of the Skver-Toldos Jewish Boys School and approached the classroom's window, immediately west of the school's main entrance.
He cocked his arm as if to fire the
The man instead turned to the school's main entrance, a few steps away.
He launched the still-burning
The attack caused damages initially estimated in the range of $20,000 to $60,000 - and sent shudders through
Police have launched an investigation but aren't labelling the attack a hate crime "at this time," said Constable Benoit Couture, because the attacker didn't provide a written message or leave graffiti indicating his motive.
For the time being, he added, police are treating this as an arson probe.
Gestetner said police have assured him that three extra patrol cars have been exclusively earmarked to keep a close eye on Jewish institutions in the area. The school is on Ducharme Ave., slightly west of Bloomfield Ave.
Whatever the judicial definition of a hate crime, the firebombing "is a dangerous, despicable act of hate," said
"The violent targeting of a religious building cannot be tolerated by our society," said
The volume of anti-Semitic incidents in
The same businessman promised a $15,000 reward when the United Talmud Torahs elementary school in
"There's been nothing in any way close to this going back to the Second World War" in the Montreal region, he said.
The fresh firebombing is "very, very disturbing," school president Gestetner said.
But "police still have to complete their investigation" before he'll declare this a hate crime, he said.
"Things have been very peaceful here for 30 years," added Gestetner, also president of the 300-family
The synagogue has operated the males-only school - currently with about 250 students age 2 to 16 - for the past 25 years. It runs a separate girls-only school nearby with about 350 students.
© The Gazette (