Just after an incident in which hundreds of headstones at a cemetery were discovered broken and overturned, the head of The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia said the neighborhood Jewish community is feeling threatened.
Police have not yet attached any particular motive to the destruction of the headstones, which occurred at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of the city, but the incident follows a series of bomb threats at Jewish day schools and centers in Philadelphia, according to Naomi Adler, the federation's CEO.
These incidents, coupled with a similar incident that took location at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri last week, have shaken the city's Jews, according to Adler.
"Our neighborhood undoubtedly feels threatened," Adler stated. "This incident, coupled with the St. Louis episode final week, brought with it a lot of anxiety."
Representatives of Mt. Carmel Cemetery did not immediately respond ABC News' request to speak about the incident. Some volunteer reports have stated that quite a few hundred headstones were broken.
The Philadelphia Police Division stated that extra than one hundred headstones had been affected in the act of apparent vandalism and the discovery was created just after only household reported their relatives' headstones had been toppled.
"On Sunday, February 26, 2017, at around 9:40 AM, 15th District officers responded to a radio call for a report of 'Vandalism' at Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery positioned at 5701 Frankford Avenue," a police statement read. "Upon their arrival at the listed location, responding officers were met by the complainant, who reported that three headstones belonging to his relatives had been broken, due to becoming knocked more than."
According to ABC station in WPVI in Philadelphia, Aaron Mallin of North Jersey discovered the fallen stones on Sunday when he came to go to his father's grave.
"It is just incredibly disheartening that such a point would take location," Mallin told WPVI. He mentioned he hoped that the incident was a reckless act by teenagers and not aspect of a far more targeted attack against the city's Jewish community.
Adler mentioned he would not but tie the incident to anti-Semitism till an investigation by police had been completed, but stated that it brought up unpleasant memories for lots of Jewish people in the location.
"We have hundreds of holocaust survivors who are nonetheless alive, and when things like this come about they can bring out horrific trauma in persons," Adler said.
She added that her organization is rallying with other Jewish groups in the city, which includes the Anti Defamation League (ADL), to show solidarity, raise cash and help repair the cemetery.
For now, nevertheless, she's urging men and women not to pay a visit to the cemetery since the damaged stones are at threat of falling on individuals.
The Philadelphia ADL has offered a $ten,000 Reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for the incident.
Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL's CEO, stated the incidents in University City and Philadelphia have been perpetrated by "cowards" in a statement.
President Donald Trump denounced an apparent rising tide of anti-Semitism final week, following criticism that he had not come out strongly enough against it as threats to Jewish centers throughout the country had been occurring.
"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish neighborhood and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the perform that still ought to be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump remarked right after touring the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
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