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 regional Jewish neighborhood is feeling threatened.
Police have not but attached any certain 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.
Those incidents, coupled with a related incident that took spot at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri last week, have shaken the city's Jews, according to Adler.
"Our neighborhood certainly feels threatened," Adler said. "This incident, coupled with the St. Louis episode final week, brought with it a lot of anxiousness."
Representatives of Mt. Carmel Cemetery did not right away respond ABC News' request to speak about the incident. Some volunteer reports have stated that many hundred headstones were damaged.
The Philadelphia Police Division said that far more than 100 headstones were impacted in the act of apparent vandalism and the discovery was created soon after only loved ones reported their relatives' headstones had been toppled.
"On Sunday, February 26, 2017, at roughly 9:40 AM, 15th District officers responded to a radio call for a report of 'Vandalism' at Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery situated at 5701 Frankford Avenue," a police statement read. "Upon their arrival at the listed place, responding officers were met by the complainant, who reported that three headstones belonging to his relatives were broken, due to being knocked over."
According to ABC station in WPVI in Philadelphia, Aaron Mallin of North Jersey found the fallen stones on Sunday when he came to visit his father's grave.
"It really is just very disheartening that such a point would take spot," Mallin told WPVI. He stated he hoped that the incident was a reckless act by teenagers and not part of a a lot 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 many Jewish people in the location.
"We have hundreds of holocaust survivors who are still alive, and when issues like this take place they can bring out horrific trauma in people," 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 assistance repair the cemetery.
For now, having said that, she's urging persons not to visit the cemetery mainly because the broken stones are at danger of falling on people.
The Philadelphia ADL has supplied a $10,000 Reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person accountable 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 sufficient against it as threats to Jewish centers all through the country had been occurring.
"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a extremely sad reminder of the function that still need to be accomplished to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump remarked following touring the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
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