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North York synagogue vandalized for 2nd time; police investigating

The Toronto police hate crimes unit is investigating after a local synagogue was vandalized for the second time in four weeks.

Rabbi Joe Kanofsky says windows and glass doors at the Kehillat Shaarei Torah Synagogue in North York were smashed in the early hours of Friday morning.

Kanofsky says the synagogue was a target of similar vandalism in late April, and no one was injured in either incident.

He says police responded quickly on Friday and collected surveillance video from the scene.

Police confirmed that officers responded to a call about property damage and said the hate crimes unit is investigating.

Kanofsky says police have not told him if they identified any suspects in the previous vandalism incident at the synagogue.

“People are shaken, understandably,” the rabbi said of his community, but noted that there’s been an outpouring of support since the first incident was reported in April.

“We’re a community of faith, compassion and charity,” he said in a phone interview. “The good is still outnumbering the not good.”

Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw said in March that the number of calls reporting hate crimes in the city has surged since the start of the Israel-Hamas war and that more than half of those crimes have targeted the Jewish community.

Police have previously noted that hate crimes often go underreported out of fear of retaliation.

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