Restoration of Philadelphia Jewish cemetery begins

Dozens of volunteers and laborers begin restoration of toppled and damaged headstones at Philadelphia Jewish cemetery.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

Vandalism in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia
Vandalism in the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia
Reuters

Dozens of volunteers and laborers on Tuesday launched the restoration of toppled and damaged headstones at a Philadelphia Jewish cemetery, JTA reported.

Experts in grave restoration are overseeing the work at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. Two Philadelphia labor unions offered to provide free repairs and added security.

The work will include setting and gluing the stones, fixing the cemetery fence and increasing the lighting for security purposes, according to JTA.

The damage to about 175 gravestones was discovered in late February, days after a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized.

No suspects have been identified in the vandalism.

Meanwhile, reported JTA, most of the 154 toppled gravestones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis have been righted and resealed to their bases.

Some 16 of the stones have to be replaced, which could take three months, according to the report.

A crowdfunding campaign launched by two Muslim activists for repairs to the St. Louis cemetery as of Monday had raised over $162,000 with four days remaining. Its initial goal was $20,000.

The vandalism of the cemeteries came amid a wave of bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers around the United States. Those incidents, however, do not appear to be related to anti-Semitism, as a 19-year-old Israeli-American has been arrested in connection with them.



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