‘It does make us nervous’: Sons of Jacob synagogue in Belleville vandalized

The Sons of Jacob Synagogue in Belleville as seen in 2018. – Photo by Louise B via Google

The Belleville place of worship that police reported was vandalized on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 7 has been revealed to be the Sons of Jacob Congregation on Victoria Avenue.

In a Tuesday media release, Belleville police said they received a distress call from a member of the congregation present at the site. According to the caller, an unidentified male approached the front doors of the place of worship. Upon being informed that the location wasn’t open to the public at that hour, the individual allegedly proceeded to the west side of the building and deliberately smashed a window.

A 44-year-old man from British Columbia was arrested and held in custody.

The Belleville Police Service says they have determined the vandalism was not a hate crime.

“The investigation into this occurrence has ascertained that while an offence had been committed – that being Mischief under $5,000 – it was not a targeted or hate-motivated crime,” Belleville police’s Staff Sargeant Jeremy Ashley told Quinteist in an email on Wednesday morning when pressed for more details on the investigation.

But congregation president Norm Weddum states that “of course, with all the events going on in the Middle East, it does make us nervous.”

Weddum explained to Quinteist that the synagogue has upped its security in the building as a result of this incident.

He adds, however, that “the community has been very supportive” of the congregation during this difficult time.

“Church groups, individuals and organizations have been dropping off flowers since the war began and we are very much appreciative of the support,” Weddum said. “We have even had church groups coming to our services in support of us.”

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