60 headstones toppled at Connecticut Jewish cemetery


(JTA) — Some 60 headstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut.

The damage at the Ateres Knesseth Israel Cemetery was discovered Friday when a relative of someone buried there visited the gravesite. The woman who made the discovery told police that when she visited the cemetery on Monday, five days earlier, she had not seen any such damage, according to reports.

Most of the toppled gravestones reportedly can be reset on their bases, but at least two were shattered. The cost to repair the damage is estimated at up to $10,000.

Hartford Police told the Hartford Courant newspaper that there is no evidence that the vandalism is a hate crime, as no anti-Semitic graffiti was found at the scene. There are no security cameras at the cemetery.

“It appears to be a random desecration, a cowardly act of vandalism,” Howard Sovronsky, head of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, told the Courant.

The cemetery has burials from the 1940s and even earlier, according to reports.

“The cemetery is our lineage,” Mort Weinstein of Weinstein Mortuary in Hartford told the newspaper. “This is very disturbing, to say the least.”

Earlier this year, dozens of headstones were pushed over and vandalized at cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, among others.

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