$13K reward for info on vandal of Philadelphia Jewish cemetery

PHILADELPHIA -- Two organizations have pledged a total of $13,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for knocking over headstones in a Jewish cemetery this weekend. Philadelphia police said as many as 100 headstones...

$13K reward for info on vandal of Philadelphia Jewish cemetery

PHILADELPHIA -- Two organizations have pledged a total of $13,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for knocking over headstones in a Jewish cemetery this weekend.

Philadelphia police said as many as 100 headstones were damaged at Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery sometimes after dark Saturday, but Rabbi Shawn Zevit of Mishkan Shalom told Fox29 that he counted 460 stones that were knocked down. 

"This is an abominable crime, that appears to target these particular headstones," police said in a statement Monday.

No new information about the investigation was released Monday. Photos from the Philadelphia Inquirer show detectives dusting the overturned stones for fingerprints Sunday.

"We must allow the investigation to take its course before we can determine a specific motive or label as a particular type of crime," the department said. "We will continue to work to determine the person(s) responsible and make sure that they are held accountable for this reprehensible act."

School board member's posts denounced

As news of the vandalism spread Sunday, the Anti-Defamation League announced that with support of the Mizel Family Foundation, it would offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible person or people. 

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 then offered an additional $3,000 reward, police said.

The vandalism in the Philadelphia cemetery comes a week after over 150 headstones were knocked over and damaged in a Jewish cemetery in Missouri. There have also been over 60 bombs threats called into Jewish community centers over the past few months. 

My heart breaks for the families who found loved ones' headstones toppled. We stand w/our Jewish brothers & sisters https://t.co/tBq9Mtxtqr

-- Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) February 26, 2017

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is doing all it can to catch the vandal or vandals.

"Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia," he said in a statement. "I encourage Philadelphians to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and to show them that we are the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection."

Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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