That’s how much extra the Montreal Jewish Community has to raise this year to pay for extra security at local Jewish schools and campuses:
Sylvain Abitbol, president of Montreal’s Federation of Jewish Community Services, said the arson attack [at U.T.T.], “combined with the defacing of many of our cemeteries and the rise in anti-Semitism in the world, led us to decide to raise the security level at our schools.”
Security agents will patrol the community’s 22 schools and 40 campuses at a cost of three million dollars (2.3 million US). The Jewish community is raising money to pay for the extra security.
“I worry for Montreal, but it is obvious that there are worries at the national level and my colleagues in other cities are asking themselves the same questions,” Abitbol said. “They all are considering the same type of measures.”
Will the money be raised? Of course – and then some. It’s going to be the theme of this year’s annual Federation CJA campaign, and the community is sure to be generous.
But just because they will succeed in raising the money doesn’t make it right. That $3 million should be spent on pressing community needs, such as helping the poor, seniors, social programs, advocacy, and Israel support. Not on security guards to make sure that nobody tries again to blow up our elementary schools.
I find it sad that the community needs to foot the bill. I find it even sadder that schools need security guards in the first place. This isn’t the Canada I know and love.