Muslims Help Rededicate Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

ST. LOUIS – Getting help from their Muslim neighbors, a St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery has been rededicated nearly six months after more than 150 headstones were toppled and damaged by vandals.

“God did send so many to repair, reclaim and rededicate,” Rabbi Roxane Shapiro of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association said at the ceremony, JTA reported on Monday, August 7.

“Our help had no barriers and no hate, simply care, compassion and hope.”

Dozens of members of the St. Louis Jewish community and its supporters gathered Sunday at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri, to acknowledge the community support while honoring those who are buried there.

The attack, last February, occurred amid a spate of anti-Semitic incidents that have rattled the American Jewish and Muslim community.

The rededication of the cemetery could not be possible without the help from Muslim activists and groups.

Tarek El-Messidi, founder of the Muslim organization Celebrate Mercy, with the support of other Muslim leaders, including pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, set up a crowdfunding campaign that raised $162,000 from nearly 5,000 donors, exceeding its $20,000 goal in the first few hours.

Along with the crowdfunding campaign, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, announced a $5,000 reward Monday evening for tips that could lead to arrests and convictions in the bomb threats.