Police say this was an act of vandalism at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery on the corner of Frankford and Cheltenham avenues.

Aaron Mallin of North Jersey made the disturbing discovery Sunday when he came to visit his father’s grave.

“It’s just very disheartening that such a thing would take place,” Mallin said.

Hundreds of headstones – well over 100 years old – were split in half.

It’s an egregious act of vandalism that’s deeply saddened those who have family buried here.

“Why? I think that’s the only thing you could say because there’s really no reason for it to be done,” said Mallin.

Philadelphia police detectives were on the scene Sunday investigating.

One woman who came to check on her family stones says this could only be one thing.

“What looks like a systematic destruction has got to be anti-Semitism. I can’t think of anything else,” she said.

Though some others were holding onto hope it’s not a targeted attack.

“I’m hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids. But the fact that there’s so many, it leads one to think it could have been targeted,” Mallin said.

The damage is widespread, but it’s hard to get an exact count on just how many tombstones were knocked down or even when.

It seems everywhere you look, you’ll notice another headstone knocked down.

“I don’t know much about, either through the police or the official Jewish community, details. I just know that there are things in formation now and there will be communal response. People have already started to ask ‘Are there some places to contribute or how to organize?’ That’ll unfold I’m sure through the city Jewish Federation in the next 24 hours,” the rabbi said.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia tells Action News they will be opening a mailbox at jewishphilly.org later Sunday to begin raising money to help speed up the repairs of the cemetery.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon released a statement on Twitter saying, “Philadelphia Jewish cemetery desecration is shocking and a source of worry . Full confidence #US authorities catch and punish culprits.”


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