Scores of headstones vandalized at Jewish cemetery

The gravesites of more than 170 Jews were vandalized at a cemetery in University City, Missouri, sometime over the weekend.

And on Monday, the Anti-Defamation League reported a wave of bomb threats directed against Jewish Community Centers in multiple states, the fourth series of such threats since the beginning of the year, it said, a development that elicited comments from a White House spokesman and Ivanka Trump, neither of which used the phrase “anti-Semitism” or mentioned Jews.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced recent threats against Jewish community centers as “horrible … painful” and said more must be done “to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Trump made the remarks after touring the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said. He did not outline what that might include.

The president’s comments marked the first time he had directly addressed recent incidents of anti-Semitism and followed a more general White House denouncement of “hatred and hate-motivated violence.”

That statement, earlier Tuesday, did not mention the community center incidents or Jews. Trump “has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable,” that statement said.

The FBI said it is joining with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to investigate “possible civil rights violations in connection with threats.”

On Monday, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter, “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers,” and used the hashtag #JCC. She converted to Judaism ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner. She joined her father at the African American museum tour.

Throughout his campaign, Trump was criticized for what some saw as belated and inadequately forceful denunciations of hateful rhetoric by supporters.

Early Tuesday, former presidential rival Hillary Clinton pressured Trump to speak out. “JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ POTUS,” she said on Twitter.

The White House was also criticized by Jewish groups last month after issuing an International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that did not mention Jews.

Trump’s latest remarks came as he paid a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with a group that included Ben Carson, his rival-turned-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

The museum includes an exhibit dedicated to Carson’s rise from poverty to prominent pediatric neurosurgeon, which the group stopped to admire and pose for photos in front of.

“Honestly, it’s fantastic,” Trump said during the tour. “I’ve learned and I’ve seen and they’ve done an incredible job.”

Trump’s wife Melania Trump visited the museum last week with Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Israeli prime minister.

The perpetrators of the cemetery vandalism and their motives were not yet established. Police in University City, an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, were just launching an investigation, reviewing video surveillance at the cemetery, operated on a not-for-profit basis by The Chesed Shel Emeth Society and calling on anyone with information to come forward.

Because of the Sabbath, the cemetery does not operate on Saturday, Anita Feigenbaum, director of the Chesed Shel Emeth Society told The Washington Post in a phone interview.

A groundskeeper arrived Monday morning to find gravestones overturned across a wide section of the cemetery, the oldest section as it happens, bearing the remains of Jews who died between the late 1800s and the mid-20th century.

She called it a “horrific act of cowardice,” beyond anything the cemetery had experienced in the past.

The cemetery was founded in 1888 by the Russian Jewish community in St. Louis “to aid all Jews who needed burial whether they had the money or not. They started with the burial society and then extended to hospitals and houses that help the poor and the sick. To this day that’s what we do. We are not for profit. We help in this horrible time in a person’s life.”

Feigenbaum had walked through the cemetery during the day and had not yet completed counting the number of damaged stones, most of them pushed over, off their bases. So far she said she had found than 170. Feigenbaum said she was starting to hear from families of people buried there. “We will reach out to the families that are affected,” she said.

The cemetery holds the remains of more than 20,000, she estimated.

She said she was getting an “outpouring of support from across the United States” with people volunteering to help with repairs and was deeply appreciative.

Separately on Monday, the Anti-Defamation League reported a wave of bomb threats directed against Jewish Community Centers in multiple states, the fourth series of such threats since the beginning of the year, it said.

“While ADL does not have any information at this time to indicate the presence of any actual bombs at the institutions threatened, the threats themselves are alarming, disruptive and must always be taken seriously.”

Bomb threats were called in at Jewish Community Centers in 11 cities across the U.S.: Albuquerque, Amherst, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, St. Paul, Tampa and Whitefish Bay, Wis. Since January, there have been 69 bomb threat calls targeting 54 centers in 27 different states, according to the Jewish Community Center Association.

In Amherst and Buffalo, the community centers were briefly closed after a threat was phoned to the Amherst center. Disruption was the goal, said Richard A. Zakalik, the local New York JCC executive director, to the Buffalo News on Monday. “They accomplished what they wanted,” Zakalik said to the Buffalo News. “The whole point was to scare and disrupt.”

No devices or bombs were found in connection with the threats; the Jewish Community Center Association described all of Monday’s incidents as “hoaxes.” The FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will probe the series of calls for federal violations, according to the Star Tribune.

Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Network, the security affiliate of Jewish Federations of North America, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the bomb threats appeared to originate from the “same serial caller.” Noting that not every building which received a call decided to evacuate, he said that the community centers were “very well-equipped to handle this.” The centers also increased their security measures after the threats, the JCCA noted.

The weekend spate of anti-Semitic threats were not limited to the U.S. In Canada, a 70-year-old Toronto woman named Helen Chaiton said that her mezuza, the case containing Hebrew verse traditionally affixed to a doorpost, had been vandalized twice over the weekend. Chaiton and her neighbors also found that the vandals had left behind sticky notes with swastikas, the CBC reported.

Responding to an inquiry from NBC News about the threats, the White House tweeted back: “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”

The tweet from Ivanka Trump, a convert to Judaism, appeared to be unsolicited and drew generally favorable reaction, but also questions about why her father, the president, seemed reluctant to speak out.

The ADL issued a statement on Feb. 16, characterizing Trump’s news conference reaction as “mind-boggling.”

“On two separate occasions over the past two days, President Trump has refused to say what he is going to do about rising anti-Semitism or to even condemn it,” the ADL said in the statement. “This is not a partisan issue. It’s a potentially lethal problem – and it’s growing.”

And after the new rash of phoned-in threats Monday, the organization’s chief executive drew a connection between the incidents and the presidential silence. “A lack of attention to this from the president creates an environment in which the bigots feel empowered,” the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt told Haaretz. “They feel like their intolerance is being tolerated.”

ad-high_impact_4
News
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Constable wanted county funds to fight Review-Journal investigation
The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked for public records to investigate constable spending. But Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell hired outside counsel to fight the request. And he wanted the county to pay nearly $7,500 for those attorneys. The county declined. And records show the constable's office owes taxpayers $700,000. County officials said the money will be repaid over three years. Mitchell abandoned his re-election before the Review-Journal story ran.
Life
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like