Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery

Muslim Americans Help Repair Anti-Semitic Vandalism of Historic Jewish Cemetery

University City, MO Causes

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Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemeteries

  • UPDATE  1 (Feb 21, 5:00 PM EST): We are overjoyed to reach our $20,000 goal in only three hours. Additional funds raised will assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide (read more below). 
  • UPDATE  2 (Feb 22, 2:00 PM EST): We've raised $80,000 in the first 24 hours! That's four times the goal - raising $1,000 every 20 minutes. We are also grateful to all the media covering this story (see media coverage below).
  • UPDATE  3 (Feb 26, 10:00 PM EST): We were just informed of another Jewish cemetery - in Philadelphia - where 400+ graves have been vandalized. Tarek El-Messidi visited the Philly cemetery on Sunday (see his video here) and is in touch with the local Jewish Federation and Rabbis. We also plan to allocate funds to help repair Philadelphia's cemetery. 
  • UPDATE  4 (March 9, 11:00 PM EST): Today we gave an initial $40,000 check to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis, covering all costs to repair and replace damaged headstones. We also sent a $5,000 check to the Chicago Loop Synagogue to help repair recent anti-Semitic vandalism.
  • UPDATE 5 (March 24): With extra funds raised, we have decided to embark on a major project to restore a neglected and vandalized Jewish cemetery in Colorado which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Costs will be over $100K. Learn about the story of this historic cemetery here. We are now hoping to raise a total of $200,000 to ensure we have the funds for this project while helping other vandalized sites as well. 
  • Stay Tuned: Check this page for updates as we distribute funds to help the vandalized cemeteries  and centers and as we update media coverage links below. 

Resources

Jewish Cemeteries Desecrated

On the heels of bomb threats and hate crimes against dozens of Jewish community centers across the United States, a historical Jewish cemetery was vandalized this past weekend when over 150 headstones were damaged in St. Louis. Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. We also condemn a second attack - a few days later - against a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia where an estimated 500 graves have been desecrated. We extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large. 

The Campaign

In a campaign organized by Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy, the Muslim-American community extends its hands to help rebuild this sacred space where Jewish-American families have laid their loved ones to rest since the late 1800's. Campaign proceeds will go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in light of the recent damage. Any remaining funds will be allocated to help upgrade their site-wide security system and repair any other vandalized Jewish centers - such as the recently vandalized Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. 

Is It Not A Human Soul?

While these senseless acts have filled us with sorrow, we reflect on the message of unity, tolerance, and mutual protection found in the Constitution of Medina: an historic social contract between the Medinan Jews and the first Muslim community. We are also inspired by the example of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who stood up to pay respects for a passing Jewish funeral procession. When questioned on why he stood for a Jewish funeral, he responded, "Is it not a human soul?" [Source: Bukhari]. 

A Message of Unity

Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America. We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event. 

For inquiries, email cemetery@celebratemercy.com

Media Coverage (updated daily)

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