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Swastika drawn on back of Federal government sign on lot of Chabad Lubavitch's new building photo by Winnipeg Jewish Review

Following the Winnipeg Jewish review’s reporting of the swastika, Hart Peikoff , a subscriber, posted a sign about LOVE over it. Photo by Hart Peikoff

Chabad Lubavitch Jewish learning Centre

Hart Peikoff placed a paper about Love over the by Hart Peikoff.


Investigations into Swastika Incidents in River Heights Over Last Few Months Are Ongoing.

By Rhonda Spivak, September 29,2010

Constable Natalie Aitkins of the Winnipeg Police  told th eWinnipeg Jewish Review yesterday  that  investigations regarding a number of instances of swastikas in River Heights over the last few months are ongoing.  "These have been flagged  to the Hate Crimes Department."

When asked whether police have considered whether the same person/s may be resoponsibe for these incidents, she responded, "If further information comes to light that suggests these incidents may be linked, we will pursue this."

On Saturday, September 11, a day after Rosh Hashana, one of our subscribers notified the Winnipeg Jewish Review that while walking with his family, he noticed that a swastika was drawn on the back of the Federal Government’s  “Canada’s Economic Action Plan-Investing in Cultural Infrastructure” green sign  located near Mathers and Lanark where the new Chabad- Lubavitch Centre is being built.

Hart Peikoff, a subscriber to the Winnipeg Jewish Review said than on learning of this he placed a sheet about "love" over ithe swastika.

The Chabad centre received a major boost last fall when both the federal and provincial governments agreed to contribute $320, 000 funding. The 17,000 square foot Chabad Lubavtich Centre is planned to will house a library, synagogue/learning centre, three classrooms, day care, multipurpose rooms, two mikvahs, and four kitchens (meat, dairy, Pesach, and parev – for baking bread).

The subscriber who reported the swastika to the Winnipeg Jewish Review, and lives in River Heights and  who has asked not to  be named, said  he or she was “upset” to see the swastika there, in what is obviously a place where a building serving the Jewish community is being built.

When contacted Rabbi Shmuely Altein indicated that he had not been aware of the  swastika and said, "We have had them before in the North End Chabad Centre," and indicated it was not pleasant to learn that this was occuring so near where the majority of the Jews in the city live.

Michael Kowalson, who is running to be elected as a city councilor against incumbent Jon Orlikow told the Winnipeg Jewish Review today that he was recnetly contacted by a concerned supporter about the swastika and has called the police.

 “Police told me they will be dispatching officers to the scene to document and complete a report and will advise how to affect removal of the swastika. I will follow up on this. I told the police that this was the third or fourth incident of a swastika in River Heights that I’ve heard about this year and I’ve asked police to contact the appropriate community leaders to create increased community awareness of the problem so that people will have their eyes and ears open and immediately report suspicious persons or activity to police."

Kowalson added," The way to address this situation is through citizens reporting to police suspicious persons or activity and through increased police patrols in the community. It’s unacceptable to me as a resident of River Heights and a member of the Jewish community that there are be any swastika or other form of racial graffiti or prejudice displayed in our community.”

 Kowalson said he would  also  be contacting Alan Yusim of B’nai Brith.

This past spring there were a string of swastikas  found in River Heights. There was  one  on a bus shelter on Grant and Lanark that was reported to the Winnipeg Jewish Review by Susan Riley on May 28  that was on top of an ad for the University of Winnipeg Collegiate.  Other swastikas on Waterloo street between Grant and Fleet were reported by Mia Elfenbaum in June 2010, including on the garage door of the home of David Lind which was covered in 32 swastikas.

The new swastika on the sign near the Chabad-Lubavitch property also appears to have been drawn in black marker similar to the others mentioned above.

In May 2010, a subscriber of the Winnipeg Jewish Review Rob Vittera came forward on his own initiative to paint out the spray-painted swastikas on 792 Campbell Street with the co-operation of Kay Robertson and Earl Varlow, the residents of 792 Campbell Street. 

 The Winnipeg  Jewish Review has placed a call to the  City of Winnipeg police to receive an update of whehter they have any suspect/s in regard to these swastika incidnets and is awaiting to hear back.,

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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.