176 Jewish gravestones vandalized at 2 Cincinnati cemeteries
176 gravestones were knocked over in two Jewish cemeteries in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 1, 2024. Credit: Courtesy of Cincy Jewfolk

By Andrew Lapin
July 2, 2024

(JTA) — Vandals in Cincinnati damaged or knocked over 176 gravestones at two historic Jewish cemeteries over the course of the past week.

A joint statement from the local Jewish federation, Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati called it an “act of antisemitic vandalism.” Most of the graves were pushed facedown, which Jewish groups said made it difficult to identify and notify the families, as local law enforcement has advised them to leave the scene untouched while they investigate.

“We are deeply saddened and outraged to report that 176 gravestones were vandalized at the Tifereth Israel Cemetery and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Cemetery,” the groups said in their joint statement Monday. Both cemeteries are part of a larger complex on Cincinnati’s historic west side. 

The incident was the latest in a long line of antisemitic acts targeting Jewish cemeteries.

Some of the targeted gravestones dated back to the 1800s, and many were cracked by the vandalism. Local and federal law enforcement are involved in the investigation.

Antisemitism has been a growing concern for Jews nationwide since the start of the current Israel-Hamas war, with synagogues, Holocaust museums and Jewish day schools all becoming targets for hateful acts. But Jewish cemeteries have been a consistent target of antisemitic vandalism dating well before that

The groups implored those interested in helping to donate to the Jewish cemetery group’s monument repair fund.

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