show of support
Two Muslim-Americans activists launched a crowdfunding campaign Tuesday to raise money to repair a historic Jewish cemetery in St. Louis that was vandalized over the weekend. Within two hours, the fundraising campaign started by Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi had already surpassed its goal of $20,000. "Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America," the crowdfunding webpage read.
More than 100 headstones were toppled or damaged in the attacks, believed to have happened late Sunday night or early Monday. Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage to help identify suspects.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who is Jewish, has condemned the attacks as "despicable" and "cowardly" and requested volunteers to help him clean up the cemetery Wednesday afternoon. The Missouri House of Representatives in Jefferson City held a moment of silence Tuesday for the cemetery, which opened in 1893. "Anxiety is high. Your loved ones are there. Your memories are there," said Karen Aroesty, the St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The cemetery attack marks the second instance of anti-Semitic violence this week alone, after bomb threats were called into 11 Jewish community centers nationwide on Monday. Since early January, 54 Jewish community centers across 27 states have faced threats.