Defacing a Cemetery and Bomb Threats Make Me Angry

20 Feb

I was not sad today when I found out more Jewish Community Centers had received bomb threats that forced evacuations.  I was not sad today when I found out Chessed Shel Emeth Cemetery was vandalized and over 100 stones were toppled.  I was not sad.

I was ANGRY! I am still angry. I am frustrated that people believe hatred wins. It does not win.

This wave of anti-Semitism has touched me on several occasions. My sister and nephew were exercising at the Tenafly, NJ, JCC when it had to be evacuated in bitter cold weather. Children and elderly had to walk or be taken to a safe place.

The Jewish Community Center in Kansas has been on high security for over two years now since a horrible instance of anti-Semitic violence led to three deaths. And twice bomb threats have been received this year. I am used to seeing armed guards at the JCC and at our synagogues.

But today was the final straw. Today the cemetery where my husband’s parents and grandparents, as well as his great aunt and uncle,  are buried was vandalized. Chessed shel Emeth in University City, Missouri, in St Louis.  I am so angry that someone thinks toppling graves is acceptable. I think my anger is intensified because so many of my family have no graves. Their remains are included in the ashes of the concentration camps and destroyed Jewish communities in Europe.

I think I am angry because by destroying graves, they– the haters– try to wipe out out memory. I am always searching in my family’s genealogy, always wondering about who came before and how are we related. So I say to the haters, “It will not happen. We carry each person’s name and memory as a blessing. ”

I contacted the cemetery as soon as I found out to discover the status of our family graves. I was surprised at how quickly I had a response. I was contacted within an hour that Our stones were not toppled.

I want to thank all those who reached out to us. I am glad that the community is coming together to help repair the damage.  Donations can be made to help pay for the damage,. (See link below.)

And I say to those making threats and trying to destroy cemeteries, You will be found. You will be punished. This is not Europe of 1939. This is the United States of America. And you are in the wrong. We stand united.

I am angry, but I believe in goodness.  And I will continue to work with and focus on those who want a better world. I think we need to spread kindness, but we also need to find those who are perpetuating these acts and hold them responsible for their actions. It is just wrong.
If you want to help the cemetery please go to this site:

Vandals target historic Jewish cemetery in University City

10 Responses to “Defacing a Cemetery and Bomb Threats Make Me Angry”

  1. rabbiadar February 21, 2017 at 4:07 am #

    I am furious, too. And so sorry to hear that your family are buried in the cemetery that was desecrated. What a horrible business.

    • zicharon February 21, 2017 at 7:40 am #

      Thank you. I am trying to find something positive. And one is that a former student of mine lives in the St Louis area and told me that people are volunteering to help clean and fix and that she hopes to volunteer as well.

  2. Amy February 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    Just awful. I am angry–it seems all the time since November 8 and especially since January 20. in light of this incident, I am particularly angry that we have a so-called President who can’t even bring himself to condemn this type of conduct but instead attacks a young man who dares to ask him about it.

    • zicharon February 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

      He finally said something today.

      • Amy February 21, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

        Not enough.

  3. thegenealogygirl February 21, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I saw photos earlier of the damage at the cemetery and it made me sick. I appreciate you including the link for contributing to the repairs. It’s easy to become angry when things like this happen, but it’s so much better to contribute to the solution. I plan to tweet the link and check it out!

    • thegenealogygirl February 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

      Thank you again, I just tweeted and donated. I am not of your faith, but I stand with you against this act of violence. Lots of love to you and yours.

      • zicharon February 21, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

        Thank you!

      • zicharon February 21, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

        Actually we need more love and kindness in the world. Thank you for sending your love. I wish you love in return.

    • zicharon February 21, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      Thank you for helping. I also believe doing something positive helps turn around the bad.

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