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July 4, 2022 7:56 am

Jewish Cemetery in Winnipeg, Canada, Finds 70 Tombstones Toppled to Ground

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Tombstones are seen at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic, April 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / David W Cerny. – The Winnipeg Police Service in Canada is investigating what some in the Jewish community are calling a case of “major vandalism” after some 70 gravestones at the city’s largest Jewish cemetery were found toppled to the ground on Wednesday.

The Shaarey Zedek Cemetery dates back to the early 1900s. It is affiliated with Congregation Shaarey Zedek, a Conservative synagogue there.

In a message to the synagogue’s membership about the incident, executive director of Congregation Shaarey Zedek Ran Ukashi wrote: “There was no graffiti on any of the stones or cemetery property. … Associates from local monument companies are working to reinstall the headstones, and cemetery staff are recording any damage for repair. Next of kin noted on plot contracts will be notified if there was any damage to a headstone.”

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in Canada tweeted: “We’re horrified by the despicable vandalism that occurred at the cemetery of Congregation Shaarey Zedek. This act shows sheer disrespect toward members of Winnipeg’s Jewish community whose loved ones’ final resting place was desecrated.”

An estimated 14,000 Jews live in the city. According to Gustavo Zentner, president of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, “you would be hard-pressed to find a Jewish person in Winnipeg who doesn’t have a friend or relative buried there.”

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