Montreal, Canada – There was a guilty plea this morning from a Hassidic Jewish congregation in Outremont in connection with importing illegal alcohol destined for religious purposes.
Montreal police seized 900 litres of alcohol including kosher wine and peach schnapps from the synagogue of the Congregation Todos Yakov Yosef de Skver almost a year ago.
The alcohol didn’t have the proper Quebec liquor board (SAQ) seals and permits.
Police acted on a complaint though the congregation had been doing it for years.
The congregation decided to enter a guilty plea and pay a $20,000 fine, averting a long and costly trial. But their lawyer Jeffrey Boro says they had a solid defence.
“The law allows for wines that come from other places for ritual purposes,” Boro tells CJAD News.
And Boro says the congregation still needs the wine for religious ceremonies so it doesn’t solve the problem.
“The SAQ does not carry nor do they seem to want to carry a sufficient variety of kosher wines for the Jewish community.”
Boro adds Ontario not only offers a wider selection but a cheaper selection.
The guilty plea paved the way for charges to be dropped against ten members of the congregation.
The judge ordered the alcohol confiscated and destroyed.