Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Gate David Synagogue, Montreal


by INGRID PERITZ, June 21, 2001 originally posed at



Jewish human rights organization calls for greater tolerance in Plateau Mont Royal neighbourhood

Editor's note: On, June 23, 2011 B’nai Brith – Quebec Region in response to the situation described in the article below released  a statement calling the decision to deny a neighbourhood synagogue a modest building adjustment an indication that intolerant attitudes to visible Orthodox Jews are becoming entrenched. Me. Allan Adel, National Chair of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights questioned why what should have been a minor municipal matter has attracted so much animosity.
“We are concerned to see feelings being inflamed to such an extent,” he said, “especially when apparently the 60-year old synagogue’s immediate neighbours had no objections to the plan, which would have extended the building a mere 10 foot into the facility’s own backyard. We also see that the needs of elderly or physically impaired worshippers are being ignored outright. They have difficulty accessing existing lower-level washroom facilities, a situation the expansion was meant to rectify. Clearly a review of the situation is called for.
“This seems to be a rather obvious swipe at the Chassidic community, with a clear opportunity for neighbourly accommodation being lost. Situations like this which paint any single minority as outsiders in their own neighbourhood are unfortunately ripe for rapid deterioration.”]


By Ingrid Peretz, June 21, The Globe and Mail

One day this month, members of an ultra-orthodox Jewish congregation in Montreal threw open the doors of their small synagogue to invite neighbours in for a rare glimpse behind the curtain of their normally insular community.

Amid the aging prayer books and cramped quarters, congregants had a plan: Overcome suspicions and gain support for a minor expansion at the back of their building.

On Monday morning, however, the congregation had a rude awakening. Despite the outreach effort, neighbours rejected the synagogue’s expansion plan in a referendum – a setback not only for the Gate David congregation, but for the uneasy relationship between Montreal’s expanding Hasidic community and its secular neighbours.

“We wanted to show openness,” said Mayer Feig, a member of one of the congregation’s 30 families. “We did everything by the book. With these results, we feel terrible.”

The vote Sunday roiled tensions on the quiet residential street where the synagogue is located, a tree-shaded artery where French, English and Yiddish can be heard flowing out of open windows.

to read more, click here:

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Coughlin Insurance Brokers
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Tel Aviv University Canada
  • Booke + Partners
  • Gislason Targownik
  • James Teitsma
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • Obby Khan
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Chisick Family
  • Stringers Rentals
  • Winnipeg Beach Home Building Centre
  • KC Enterprises
  • John Wishnowski
  • JLS Construction
  • Ingrid Bennett
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • The Paper Fifrildi
  • Joanne Gullachsen Art
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Levene Tadman Golub
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Bridges for Peace
  • CVA Systems
  • Chochy's
  • Lakeside Roofing
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.