The managers of two historic Jewish cemeteries in Seattle have asked for the city’s help in preventing desecration and vandalism at the sites.
The local US Jewish community said the issue is groups of homeless people who have set up camp in and around the cemeteries.
Ari Hoffman, a vice president of Seattle’s Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath Synagogue and a member of its cemetery committee, told local media that headstones have been defaced and that needles and other discarded drug paraphernalia, as well as human feces, have been found on and among the tombstones. Hoffman also said that prostitutes use the woods behind the cemetery for their clients.
The Bikur Cholim cemetery has grave-sites going back to the Civil War as well as recent burials.
Across the street, the Historic Sephardic Jewish Cemetery is experiencing similar vandalism.
A spokesman for Seattle’s Homelessness Emergency Response said Friday that the city was aware of the concerns near the cemeteries.
“The Navigation Team, which is the city’s homelessness response team that connects vulnerable people to shelter and services, inspected the site earlier today and is assessing site conditions,” the spokesman said.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.