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Board of Deputies Concealed News of Cemetery Desecration

November 30, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Enfield, northern London, was concealed from the public for three weeks by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which has admitted the concealment and is taking the blame.

Some 54 gravestones at the Enfield Jewish cemetery were daubed with swastikas. It was only the latest of more than 50 such incidents since April, when the Jewish cemetery in nearby Edmonton was desecrated.

The withholding of information has some board members angry. “The policy of keeping things under wraps is bankrupt — it is deceitful,” said Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a member.

Raymond Kalman, chairman of the board’s defense committee, said that the board had agreed not to publicize the incident, which occurred Nov. 9, at the request of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, which runs the cemetery.

The union is an independent organization with a membership of over 6,000. No one was available for comment at its Stamford Hill headquarters. It was said, however, to be fearful that publicity would only bring more trouble.

In private, board officials have complained about taking the flak for the union. When the incidents finally came to light, the board ends up “carrying the can,” another member of the defense committee said.

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