Sixty Headstones Toppled at Connecticut Jewish Cemetery

'It appears to be a random desecration, a cowardly act of vandalism,' the director of the Hartford Jewish federation says

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Some 60 headstones were toppled in a Jewish cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut. The damage at the Ateres Knesseth Israel Cemetery was discovered on Friday, when a relative of someone buried there visited the gravesite.

Tweet of photos of vandalism at Ateres Knesseth Israel cemetery in Hartford, Conn. by WSFB-TV reporter Matthew CampbellCredit: Twitter

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 60 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 daily newspaper the Hartford Courant that there is no evidence that the vandalism is a hate crime since no anti-Semitic graffiti was found at the scene. There were no security cameras in place at the cemetery.

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

The cemetery has burials from the 1940s and even earlier, according to reports. “The cemetery is our lineage. This is very disturbing, to say the least,” Mort Weinstein of Weinstein Mortuary in Hartford told the newspaper.

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

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