Investigation into vandalized headstones has community asking for help

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ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Multiple headstones vandalized months ago are still overturned at the Jewish Memorial Park. Some in the local Jewish community are asking for more to be done in the active investigation.

Marc Gronich has been encouraging members of the Schenectady and Clifton Park Jewish community to speak out about the vandalism. He says the group of congregations whose members are buried in the cemetery has been unable to repair the damage.

“Nothing has happened with uprighting the stones in the cemetery. We’re trying to raise money to do so. It’s going to cost about $50,000 and we raised about $12,000,” stated Gronich.

Although Rotterdam Police are still actively investigating, Gronich says more resources should be committed to finding the vandals. He asks the board to consider a similar situation in Ohio. “On July 3, in Cincinnati, they found the tombstones were overturned. President Biden commented on it and I’m asking, do we really need the president’s administration to step in on this case in Rotterdam?”

The Town Board says they consider the vandalism serious. In the meantime, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York is working with local law enforcement to protect the community. Its President and CEO, Rob Kovach says in part:

“Antisemitism is on the rise in our community and around the world. Since the terrorist attacks of October 7, we have seen an unprecedented rise in antisemitic rhetoric and actions.”

Two months after the Israel-Hamas conflict began last year, shots rang outside Temple Israel of Albany right before its Hannukah celebrations. The Albany FBI office was involved in that investigation and the suspect was taken into custody and charged with a hate crime.

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