Visiting The Dead

... for people who love cemeteries.

Extensive Damage to NJ Cemetery

One of the top news stories in the NJ/NY area the last few days has been the extensive damage done to a Jewish cemetery in New Brunswick, NJ by vandals. From the [NJ] Star-Ledger:

NewBrunswick_stones_toppled

"Hundreds of headstones were overturned at a New Brunswick cemetery largely used by two synagogues, authorities said today. Police believe the acts of vandalism were committed over two different days. On Wednesday people found 17 headstones knocked over at the Poile Zedek Cemetery on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, but hundreds more were found overturned at 8:55 a.m. Sunday, police said. A total of 499 headstones were overturned."

According to
an article in the N.Y. Times:
With some of the stones weighing more than 2,000 pounds, New Brunswick police said the rampage had involved more than one person and taken several hours.

Jack Oziel, a member of Etz Ahaim whose parents’ tombstones were shattered, said the synagogue was organizing a fund-raising event to replace the gravestones in cases in which there were no surviving family members.

“Some of these people died 50 or 70 years ago, and there are no survivors,” said Mr. Oziel, 92. “So it becomes the synagogue’s problem. We have to remember these people, and the only way we can do it is by righting these stones.”

A half-dozen members of the New Brunswick Police Department tried to right some of the stones that had been toppled but not broken. “A lot of family members are coming here,” said Lieutenant Mangarella, calling the overturned stones a terrible thing to see. “If we can prop them up and give them a little relief, we will.”

Our condolences go out to the families who are suffering as a result of this senseless destruction.

-- Caspra

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