(JNS.org) Hundreds of headstones were found overturned Sunday in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia in the latest attack targeting the American Jewish community.
According to reports, police arrived at Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia early Sunday morning after a man reported that three headstones belonging to his family had been overturned and damaged. A rabbi told Philadelphia’s NBC10 network that he counted more than 460 headstones that were overturned or damaged.
“This is not just a random act,” said Rabbi Shawn Zevit of Mishkan Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Philadelphia. “To topple so many headstones clearly is a concerted effort with intent.”
“My heart breaks for the families who found their loved ones’ headstones toppled this morning,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “We are doing all we can to find the perpetrators who desecrated this final resting place, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Anti-Defamation League is offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the incident, while the Fraternal Order of Police is offering a $3,000 reward.
The vandalism came just a week after some 170 headstones were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Mo.