Police are looking for vandals who poured over 2,000 litres of oil onto the grounds of a synagogue north of Montreal last month.
Damage to the Young Israel of Chomedey synagogue is estimated at more than $100,000.
The vandalism happened on Oct. 6 in Montreal suburb. A police investigation suggests individuals could have used a hose to dump the oil from nearby containers onto to the synagogue property.
The extensive damage puts the synagogue in a precarious financial precision.
“Our insurance just covers the first $25,000 for decontamination,” said congregation president Frank Cwilich on Thursday.
“But if the oil penetrated under the building, it could easily go up to $100,000.”
Cwilich admitted the 1,050-strong congregation can’t afford that sum and may have to shut down. He’s also not sure what sparked the attack. It’s the first time the Young Israel of Chomedey synagogue has been vandalized in its 50-year history.
“No one threatened us and no one claimed responsibility,” he said.
Police as well are stumped. Investigators met with shopkeepers and neighbours, but haven’t found anyone who witnessed the vandalism. They’re now appealing to the public.
“Some people are suggesting it’s a teen prank,” said Laval police spokesman Franco Di Genova. “But we have nothing to confirm at the moment.”