A Philadelphia cemetery has become the latest victim of vandals. Sunday morning, it was discovered at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery on the corner of Frankford and Cheltenham avenues, that headstones of Jewish graves had been overturned breaking many from their support base. There are dozens of graves involved. The vandalism comes on the heels of the overturning of headstones in the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City in the St. Louis area, that Vice President Pence visited last week to help repair the damage to over 100 headstones.
When Pence appeared with volunteers to repair and clean up the cemetery in St. Louis he stated that “There is no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism.” In Philadelphia the investigation is ongoing and it hasn’t been determined if this was the work of those in an Anti-Semitic group or if it was a random act of vandals. An actual count of the headstones that have been damaged has not been counted but could reach.
Aaron Mallin of North Jersey was visiting the cemetery for the anniversary of this father’s death when he found the damage to the headstones then reported it to police and the news. On 6 Abc News, he stated that “It’s just very disheartening that such a thing would take place,” Mallin said. Mallin said that had hoped that he “this wasn’t an anti-Semitic attack. Continuing Mallin said that “I’m hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids. But the fact that there’s so many it leads one to think it could have been targeted,” Mallin said. Mallin also said if it was just vandalism he doesn’t understand it. “It’s just very heartbreaking,” Mallin said.
It was just last week that an online campaign was created by a Philadelphia local man, Tarek El-Messidi, to create a fund to repair the damage to the St. Louis Jewish cemetery. El-Messidi, runs the online nonprofit Celebrate Mercy, which aims to teach non-Muslims about the religion, and by Muslim activist Linda Sarsour. Adding to his campaign were celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and J.K. Rowling, who tweeted out the link.
It was in July of 2015 in Philadelphia when vandals attacked another Jewish cemetery the Adath Jeshurun Cemetery located along Bridge Street in the city’s Frankford section. That attack on the cemetery led to the overturning of over 120 headstones. Oren Segal, director of Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism stated that vandalism and bomb threats that have been called into more than 70 Jewish Community Centers have increased since the election of President Trump. “Regardless of what final numbers of anti-Semitic incidents will be, we’re definitely seeing an uptick in reporting– and that’s actually why it takes longer to go through this data and verify everything,” Segal stated. Continuing Segal stated that, “It was happening before Election Day, but definitely since Election Day we’ve seen an uptick.” Segal added that, “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Agnes Bedard calls herself a daughter of the 60's. She stills believe that one voice can lead us out of darkness, that one person can start a change, and that one act of kindness can change one person's world. Politics is how the world works to change and that is why she is so passionate about it. As Agnes said we need to fight for our f.uture. Agnes Bedard is also the author of "Before I was Me" Bedard is also a wife, mother and grandmother