TORONTO (Oct. 8)
A fire that police say was deliberately set has caused some $10,000 in damage to the Jewish community center in downtown Toronto.
Authorities are investigating whether the fire, which took place Tuesday, the second day of Sukkot, was a hate crime and whether it was related to an act of arson that damaged an Orthodox Jewish day school in Ottawa on Oct. 1, just after the end of Yom Kippur.
The fire at the Toronto JCC was started when someone ignited rags soaked with gasoline in a rear doorway of the center.
The Canadian Jewish Congress has offered $5,000 for information that might lead to the conviction of those responsible for the Toronto fire.
A reward of that size has become a standard practice of the congress for incidents targeting individuals or facilities due to their religious or cultural affiliation, regardless of denomination.
In Ottawa, officials at the Ecole Maimonides boosted their original damage estimates from $40,000 to as much as $75,000 after seeing the extent of smoke damage throughout the day school.
Ottawa police say the fire was started by someone who made a forced entry into the building through a window and set some papers ablaze, which then ignited a nearby couch. No arrests have yet been made.
Ecole Maimonides, which has about 100 students from preschool to the eighth grade, was the target of an arson attack three years ago that left it closed for a month.