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Muslims Hasten To Right Toppled Jewish Headstones In Rochester

Soon after a Jewish cemetery was found vandalized in Rochester, New York in the third such incident in two weeks, local Muslims were on the scene helping clean up the damage, in another sign of an interfaith alliance that’s been forged between two communities both targeted by a spike in hate crimes.

Police have been investigating as a hate crime the toppling of almost two dozen headstones in the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, the third incident of its kind in the past two weeks, after Jewish burial grounds in Philadelphia and St. Louis were defaced.

Since the November election of President Trump, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic bias incidents have been on the rise, and the two communities have sought to support one another. Following the desecration of the St. Louis cemetery, Muslim civil rights activist Linda Sarsour raised more than $100,000 to repair the damage. In Texas, a synagogue volunteered its facilities to a group of Muslims after vandals damaged their mosque.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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