Temple Reacts to Vandalism of Jewish Cemetery

WRITTEN BY: SIDNEY COFFMAN

Mount Carmel Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery at Frankford and Cheltenham avenues, was vandalized on Feb. 26. Gravestones were damaged.

The community has started raising money to help repair the cemetery in response to the vandalism. Since March 1, citizens have donated $141,000 to help repair the damage. The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia is one of the most notable agencies helping to raise money.

Dr. Elizabeth Hayes Alvarez teaches religion at Temple University.

“I think what’s symbolic about it is that our cities in general are seen as places that are very open and tolerant and multiracial and multi-religious,” Alvarez said. “[The] fact that it’s happening in a northeastern, progressive, multiracial city is [what] I think is shocking about it. To encounter this kind of hate here is jarring.”

Hillel at Temple University is a partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and is also affiliated with Hillel International. Hillel strives to provide insightful Jewish experiences at Temple University.  

Max Buchdahl, president of the Hillel student board, weighed in on what Hillel is doing to help Temple students.

“We made sure through our social media that people knew this was a place they could come if they just needed to relax and talk to someone, because it did impact a lot of people,” Buchdahl said. “ The building is a resource and the staff is a resource and [we’ve gone] to the cemetery… We try and be as active as possible in the community.”

The investigation of the vandalism is ongoing.

AUDIO BY: KYRA BLOOM

Feature Image Courtesy: NBC10 Philadelphia

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