Skip to main content

People rally outside Fredericton synagogue to show support after vandalism


A crowd of about 150 people gathered outside the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton on Sunday to show their support for the Jewish community after the building was vandalized.

The windows were smashed sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning, and the incident corresponded with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Daniel Chippin, a member of the board of directors at the synagogue, told CTV News on Saturday he was “broken hearted” that something like this could happen.

The words of support he heard on Saturday were great, he says, but seeing people at the rally is “much more meaningful.”

The broken windows have already been replaced.

Chippin is glad the glass was replaced so quickly. He says it symbolizes how much the community cares.

Community members lock arms outside of the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton after is was vandalized earlier in the week. (CTV/Derek Hagget)“I hope that Fredericton and everybody else can build back together and we can have a great community as a whole,” says Chippin.

Chippin hopes there won’t be any vandalism again.

“I think there’s just one or two people in Fredericton who are out to do this stuff, and a very large majority of the people here are supportive of us.”

However, the synagogue has no security camera. Chippin says it may have been relaxed with security because they didn’t anticipate something like this ever happening.

“But I think we’ll start to take stuff like that a little more seriously now,” he says.

It is too early to tell if this was a hate crime, according to Sgt. Justin LeBlanc with the Fredericton Police Force.

“We can’t ignore the possibility. At this point, we’re early in the investigation and we’re just trying to get as much information as possible,” says LeBlanc.

After the short rally at 2 p.m., the synagogue’s Rabbi, Josef Goldman, invited people inside. In a speech, he thanked people in the community and gave words of encouragement.

A community member holds a sign outside of the synagogue in Fredericton. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic) Kris Austin, minister of justice and public safety, attended the rally. He says “cowardly” acts of vandalism aren’t going to be tolerated.

“I think, when you look around and you see so many different people coming together and sharing that same message, I think it’s powerful,” he says.

Dominic Cardy, an independent minister in New Brunswick, also attended the event.

“The people that were here today were Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists, and we will be there if a mosque is attacked, if a church is attacked,’ he says.

Cardy and his partner Julie Smith, a former holocaust educator and non-profit executive director, organized a GoFundMe on Saturday. Before Sunday afternoon, the fundraiser had surpassed its goal of $5,000. As of this writing, the total has reached more than $7,500.

“We’re seeing a rise in anti-Semitism, a rise in hate. It still hurts when it’s so close to home,” says Susan Holt, leader of the New Brunswick Liberal party.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

Stay Connected