At the same time that the latest wave of bomb threats targeted Jewish Community Centers across the country, vandals struck a Jewish cemetery in Missouri, desecrating more than 100 headstones. The culprits hit Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, located in University City, a suburb of St. Louis, some time Thursday morning.
The cemetery was founded in the late 19th century, and it was an older section that was damaged.
“These are holocaust survivors that are in here they shouldn’t have to endure anymore trauma let them be settled,” said Robin Rickerman, whose family members are buried there.
Police have not commented yet on whether they are investigating the matter as a hate crime, although they did say that the act appeared to be organized by more than one person. Authorities are reviewing security footage from the scene.
The vandalism came during the same weekend that 11 Jewish centers received bomb threats and were evacuated, making nearly 70 threats in the U.S. since January. Tuesday morning, President Trump commented about the recent acts, saying they “are horrible, and are painful.”
Pres. Trump: “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful.” pic.twitter.com/C7pZLYOTci
— ABC News (@ABC) February 21, 2017
The All Nations Church is standing in solidarity with the Jewish community, and is matching donations that they collect to go towards the cemetery. The local Muslim community has also offered to assist with efforts to clean up, according to the cemetery’s executive director.
[Image via KTVI screengrab]