In a blatant thumb of the nose to Jewish law and tradition, the board of trustees and the board of directors of Montreal’s Snowdon YM-YWHA voted to have their health facility open on Shabbos.
Opposition to the Shabbos desecration is virtually unanimous in Montreal’s sizable Orthodox community, as well among many of Canadian city’s traditional Jews, according to the Suburban newspaper.
After board member Leon Elfassy, who voted against the change, spoke out against it on Montreal’s Radio Shalom Jewish radio program, Rabbi Reuven Poupko of the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Synagogue called Elfassy “a hero.”
A press release called the decision “consistent with the YM-YWHA’s mandate to serve as a resource to the entire Jewish community.”
The Y on Westbury Avenue has a regular visitation of Lubavitch boys and girls who use, separately, the world-class athletics facilities and pool.
Over 350 Lubavitch families live in the Snowdon neighborhood. The community does not have an official rabbi or representative to lead a boycott.
“I didn’t hear any talk about a boycott,” one father who was visiting New York told COLlive.
“Most don’t even know about it, and it’s not like there is another option for the kids.”
Rabbi Berel Bell, a member of Vaad Ha’ir and a Lubavitch Dayan, was not available for comment.