'Leave Canada' Spray-Painted on Synagogue

Temple Beth Israel in West Edmonton vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti and the message 'Leave Canada,' shocking congregants.

Cynthia Blank ,

Anti-Semitic Graffiti
Anti-Semitic Graffiti
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Anti-Semitic graffiti along with the chilling order, "Leave Canada" were found spray-painted on a synagogue in West Edmonton, the capital of Alberta province in Canada. 

The graffiti was located on the side wall of Temple Beth Israel in the Oleskiw neighborhood of West Edmonton, causing shock and anxiety to worshippers who noticed it as they walked into synagogue for early morning prayers on Saturday.

The incident, however, was not reported on until Wednesday.

“A number of the congregants were quite distraught, having seen the graffiti on their way into the synagogue. They alerted me to it and, of course, I was shocked and devastated as well,” Rabbi Daniel Friedman said.

"We know that this is not typical of our Canadian brothers and sisters, most of whom share our Canadian values of openness and tolerance.”

Rabbi Friedman added that Temple Beth Israel and been fire-bombed and vandalized with hateful graffiti in the past. 

This marks the second time in less than two weeks that a place of worship in Edmonton has been vandalized with hate messages. 

Last week, a Sikh temples was defaced with "Leave Canada" and other profane, racist messages spray-painted on its outer walls. 

In October, a mosque in Cold Lake, some 300 miles away, was vandalized with similar graffiti.

Tim Uppal, a Sikh resident of Edmonton, wrote on Facebook page condemning the vandalism. 

"I was deeply saddened to hear reports of an act of anti-Semitic vandalism to the Beth Israel Synagogue in Edmonton. I have visited this synagogue many times and have a close, personal connection to the congregation.

"As Minister of State for Multiculturalism and as a Canadian, I condemn this cowardly anti-Semitic act of vandalism in the strongest sense."

Police are investigating the incident.