Jewish cemetery vandalized in upstate NY, local Muslims offers help

As many as 16 headstones were damaged between Wednesday and Thursday (March 1–2) at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York.

A spokesperson for Waad Hakolel Cemetery said the damage was brought to their attention within the last several hours.

The Rochester Police Department said it is actively investigating, but does not yet have any suspects in custody.

Dozens of Jewish cemeteries have had headstones toppled and vandalized in the last few weeks, leading to outrage and calls for investigation by government and religious leaders.

Leaders of the local Muslim community reached out Friday morning to offer to assist in cleaning up the vandalism and helping to protect the cemetery.

Several Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) have received bomb threats and other threatening phone calls, including centers in Syracuse and Buffalo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident.

The Rochester Police Department said it “takes very seriously any potential act of anti-Semitism or any other bias-related incident.”