MONTREAL — Up to 15 Laurentian vacation homes owned by members of a Montreal chassidic community were broken into last week and at least two were daubed with swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti.
They are part of an enclave of about 50 cottages in Val Morin used by the Belzer community during the summer.
Vandals broke into about 15 of them between April 12 and 15. The Sûreté du Québec is investigating. The houses were empty at the time.
Pinkas Feferkorn, director of the community’s Val Morin synagogue, said most of the homes broken into were vandalized in some way. In at least one, the perpetrator defecated on the floor.
In one house, the place was ransacked with furniture damaged and other property thrown about.
One homeowner saw evidence of attempts to start fires on a tarp covering a community swimming pool and in the middle of a street.
Relations between the chassidim, who have lived in Val Morin for more than 30 years, and their non-Jewish neighbours have been quiet for the past few years.
In 2005, a house used for prayer was ransacked and its holy books strewn about.
The Belzer community has been in protracted legal battles with the village of Val Morin over its use of a residence as a synagogue, and for alleged non-payment of back tax