Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Montreal Jewish Defense League Draws 50 to Meeting

The long-dormant, controversial Jewish Defense League announced it would set up shop in Montreal next week despite opposition by local Jewish and Muslim groups.

“There is no need for a Jewish self-defense group in Montreal,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko of the Jewish community’s main advocacy group, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA.

JDL leader Meir Weinstein of Toronto said he would be setting up the country’s second branch outside that city on Feb. 16 to stem the rise of “radical Islam” in Quebec and to help the pro-Israel Conservative Party government return to power in a national election slated for the fall.

Weinstein, 56, said he planned to have local JDL members aggressively monitor and “infiltrate” radical Islamic groups. In August, Weinstein, in the wake of some incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in Montreal, organized a local meeting to gauge interest in reviving the JDL after decades of inactivity.

About 50 people reportedly attended the meeting.

Rabbi Poupko has said that such anti-Semitic incidents have been successfully dealt with by local authorities and has called JDL “marginal” and “superfluous.”

In the United States, the FBI in 2001 labeled the JDL, founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a violent “right-wing terrorist group.” The group has been inactive in the U.S. for years.

No reports exist showing that the JDL in Toronto has been involved in violent incidents.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.