UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — A Jewish cemetery near St. Louis has been rededicated nearly six months after it was vandalized.
Law enforcement is still working to determine if the tipping of more than 150 tombstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City in February was motivated by anti-Semitism. The attack drew national attention and
The re-dedication Sunday came after months of fundraising, physical
"I don't think you can explain the reaction without referencing what is going on today," he said. "And I believe it was due to a context of growing attacks that we were seeing first and foremost against the Jewish community."
Speakers also recognized Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim social justice advocate from Philadelphia who helped raise $160,000 for restoration efforts at the cemetery within a few weeks of the vandalism.
"At the core, every human being has the right to rest in peace," El-Messidi said.
In addition to that money, the Jewish Federation raised almost $250,000. That money will go toward security upgrades not just at Chesed Shel Emeth, but at all of the Jewish cemeteries around the St. Louis area.
"Our help had no barriers, no hate. Simply care, compassion and hope," said Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro,
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com
The Associated Press