Headstones toppled at Boston-area Jewish cemetery

Vandals top six headstones at Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,


Vandals toppled six headstones at one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts, JTA reported Friday.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning, when police responded to reports that what appeared to be three teenage boys were seen kicking over tombstones at the Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose, Mayor Robert J. Dolan reported on his blog.

“I am deeply saddened and outraged by this vandalism and potential hate crime,” Dolan said.

“Cemeteries are sacred grounds. Any malicious destruction is deeply saddening and must be given the full attention of law enforcement,” he added.

The Netherlands Cemetery, formally called the Netherlands Cemetery Association and Roxbury Mutual Society Burial Ground, is the third oldest Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts and contains about 475 graves, according to the mayor’s office. It was established in 1859 by a group of Dutch Jews living in Greater Boston.

Earlier this month, the New England Holocaust Memorial was vandalized when a glass panel on the memorial was smashed with a large rock. A suspect was arrested.

In recent months there have been several incidents of vandalism in U.S. Jewish cemeteries.

In February, vandals toppled and broke more than 100 headstones at the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia. That some month, more than 100 headstones were toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery near St. Louis were vandalized.

In May, five tombstones were knocked over at the Adath Jeshurun Cemetery, also in Philadelphia.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)