Muslim Americans fundraise to help fix vandalised Jewish cemetery

The project, which is still accepting funds, aims to fix damage at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in St Louis, but the campaigners said that any additional funds raised would be used to "assist other vandalised Jewish centres nationwide".

The campaigners called the attack a "horrific act of desecration" on a "sacred space where Jewish-American families have laid their loved ones to rest", adding that they were extending a helping hand to rebuild the cemetery.

Vandals damaged or tipped over as many as 200 headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, just outside St. Louis.

According to Fox2 St. Louis, police will not say whether it is being pursued as a hate crime.

The Jewish community in Missouri is on alert after more than 100 headstones were knocked over in a historic Jewish cemetery.

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Aroesty said while St. Louis was not targeted in bomb threats reported at Jewish Community Centers across the country Monday morning, the St. Louis Jewish community received similar threats last month.

"We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event".

They said any remaining funds after the cemetery is restored would go toward repairs to other vandalized Jewish centers. This incident comes soon after several Jewish centres across the world have received bomb threats and violence towards the community has gone up.

It gathered 2,000 donations and raised more than $56,000.

There has been an outpouring of support around the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

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Although the motivations behind the vandalisation of the cemetery are still unclear, it does little to allay the anxieties of Jewish communities in the US.

Governor of Missouri Eric Greitens is Jewish and condemned the attack, and called for volunteers to help clean it up. In a Facebook post, he said: "Anyone who would seek to divide us through an act of desecration will find instead that they unite us in shared determination".

"I'm Mike Pence, and I'm the Vice President of the United States of America", Pence said.

"I knew we Jews needed to stand with Muslims", it said.

Jewish activists have also been prominent in the fight against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, which critics claim targets Muslim refugees and immigrants.

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Though the White House denounced the bomb threats, the Trump administration has faced criticism for not been forceful enough to rebuking acts of anti-Semitism that have occurred nationwide since his election.


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