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FBI announces $10K reward for info after 176 gravestones vandalized at Jewish cemeteries in Green Township

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

The FBI announced on Thursday a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest after gravestones were vandalized at Jewish cemeteries in the Cincinnati area.

The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati said it discovered 176 gravestones were vandalized at the Tifereth Israel Cemetery and Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Cemetery on Monday morning. Tombstones were pushed over, some cracking in half. The organization said it believes the damage occurred sometime between June 25 and July 1.

In a release, the FBI said anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call officials at 513-421-4310 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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The FBI is also asking anyone who may have been in either of the cemeteries, both located within the Covedale Cemetery complex in Green Township, during that time period to provide any information on the condition they saw it in.

We spoke to Rita Birch, who discovered her mother’s tombstone was one of the ones toppled over, earlier this week. Birch said her parents had fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s to come to the U.S.

“Why people hate the way they do, I do not understand,” she said.

Jewish Community Relations Council Director Rabbi Ari Jun said there are no direct signs that the vandalism was motivated by antisemitism, but noted that local incidents have been elevated in Cincinnati since the Israel-Hamar war began in October 2023.

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“This is easily one of the worst incidents we’ve had in a while,” Jun said. “That’s coming during a year where we’ve had some very bad antisemitic incidents.”

President Joe Biden spoke out about the vandalism on Wednesday, calling the act “despicable.”

“This is Antisemitism and it is vile,” the president continued. “I condemn these acts and commit my Administration to support investigators in holding those responsible accountable to the full extent of the law.”

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FBI Cincinnati said it is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during its investigation.

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