In Response to Vandalism at Richmond Historical Cemeteries

In Response to Vandalism at Richmond Historical Cemeteries

Earlier this week, four historic cemeteries were vandalized. Evergreen Cemetery, which contains the defaced gravesite of trailblazer Maggie Walker, East End Cemetery, Barton Heights Cemetery, and Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Cemetery were painted with 777, a known neo-Nazi symbol.

These acts of hate degrade and denigrate our way of life. They are designed to stoke fear in the hearts of both Jewish and Black communities. We stand together with our Black neighbors in proclaiming that these cowardly acts have not, and will not break us. We are better and stronger than that.

The volunteer and professional leadership of The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, along with our partners at Secure Community Network (SCN), Keneseth Beth Israel-Richmond VA, and the Trustees of the Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery are working with local law enforcement to bring those responsible for these acts to justice. We are grateful for the seriousness with which the Richmond Police Department is taking these crimes.

We take the security of our community and its institutions as our highest priority. That is why our Jewish Community Federation, under the guidance of SCN, has been working with area synagogues and Jewish agencies for years to strategically and proactively craft security plans and provide funding to this area. This includes investing in hiring a Regional Security Advisor as a key resource for our entire community.

Hate does not discriminate, and bias and bigotry against both the Black and Jewish communities are on the rise. That is why we are dedicated to building a stronger, safer, and more secure Jewish and general community.