June 1, 2011
Atlantic City Jewish cemetery vandalized
Some 15 gravestones were toppled in a Jewish cemetery in Atlantic City, N.J.
The attack on the Rodef Sholom Cemetery reportedly took place just before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to the Press of Atlantic City. Police believe that more than one vandal was involved because of the heaviness of the gravestones but have no suspects.
The damage to the gravestones is fixable but will be expensive because large cranes are needed to lift the stones, the Press reported. Relatives of the deceased will be notified of the damages.
The cemetery reportedly is often a spot for drinking and drug use.
Cemetery groundskeeper Dennis Kraus told the Press that he didn’t think it was a hate crime against the Jewish people.
“I think it’s a bunch of people who probably got doped up or drunk and figured they could start knocking over stones,” he said. “It’s ridiculous, where people can’t even lay in a cemetery and rest in peace.”
Similar incidents of vandalism have occurred at the cemetery and elsewhere in the area. In 2006, vandals overturned 35 gravestones at the Rodef Sholom Cemetery, and another 20 at a nearby cemetery. The perpretrators, who were intoxicated while committing the crime, received fines and jail time.