NEW YORK (Apr. 2)
Police patrols in the vicinity of two Jewish cemetenes on Staten Island were increased today after vandals overturned, damaged and defaced some 700 gravestones over the weekend.
According to the police, at least 450 gravestones were toppled at the Mount Richmond Cemetery and another 200 gravestones were toppled at the United Hebrew Cemetery. The two cemeteries are adjacent to each other in the Richmond town section of Staten Island. The incident was the latest in acts of vandalism aimed at Jewish cemeteries. Last week, 811 Jewish gravestones were vandalized at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, Queens.
Police said today they had no suspects in the case, noting that few are arrested in cemetery vandalism cases, since the vandelizers strike at night when guards are rarely present. Jewish leaders expressed shock and dismay over the repeated cases of desecrations of Jewish cemeteries. They also expressed concern, noting the anti-Semitic nature of the attacks.
Meanwhile, members of the Blkur Cholim Sheveth. Adhim Synagogue in East Haven, Conn., offered a $500 reword for information leading to the conviction of those who vandalized the synagogue’s cemetery. More than 200 tombstones were vandalized at the cemetery in the last three years.