Skip To Content
Fast Forward

More than 30 headstones damaged at South African Jewish cemetery

(JTA) — More than 30 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery east of Cape Town, South Africa.

The vandalism at the Oudtshoorn Jewish cemetery, located about 200 miles east of Cape Town, is the first major incident of its kind there, according to Bernard Herman, the head of the Oudtshoorn Chevra Kadisha, the local Jewish burial society.

“We intend to restore all the affected headstones at this stage,” Berman said in an article published Thursday on the website of the Cape-area office of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies umbrella group. The report didn’t say when the graves had been toppled.

“We intend on laying them flat, as has been the policy in the last couple of years, but this will be the next project once repairs have been done,” Berman added.

Repairs will come at the cost of Cape Town community, which is getting smaller and has no source of income for cemetery upkeep, Berman also said.

“We are fighting a losing battle in our small and shrinking Jewish community,” he said.

In recent years, the community has worked on the cemetery’s southern boundary wall, removing old trees that were damaging graves and especially ground mounds, which date back to the 1918 flu epidemic and mark the burial places of children.

“We also surrounded the entire boundary wall with hundreds of meters of barbed wire at great expense some time ago, and every inch has been removed and stolen since,” Berman said.

The post More than 30 headstones damaged at South African Jewish cemetery appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.