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Hundreds rally against hate after cemetery damage, threats

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 2, 2017 1:34 PM
jewish_cemetery_philly.jpg

Joe Nicoletti and Ronni Newton of the Taconey Holmesburg town watch group pay their respects at a damaged headstone in Mount Carmel cemetery Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. More than 100 headstones have been vandalized at the Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, damage discovered less than a week after similar vandalism in Missouri, authorities said.(AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

(Philadelphia) -- Hundreds of people have turned out for a "Stand Against Hate" rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia in response to the recent vandalism of a Jewish cemetery and hate crimes around the country.

A Jewish federation says it organized Thursday's rally to "restore a sense of security and peace to our community."

Over 100 headstones were discovered damaged over the weekend at Mount Carmel Cemetery. Police haven't made an arrest or determined a motive. Jewish community centers and schools in at least a dozen states were also targets of bomb threats this past week, the fifth wave since January.

At the rally, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called the cemetery vandalism the "the desecration of the values we all hold dear" and the bomb scares "threats against each and every one of us and our common humanity."

An earlier story is below:

A Jewish community group has organized a "Stand Against Hate" rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia in response to the recent vandalism of a Jewish cemetery and hate crimes around the country.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia says the noon rally Thursday is intended to "restore a sense of security and peace to our community."

More than 100 headstones were discovered toppled or damaged over the weekend at Mount Carmel Cemetery. No arrests have been made, and police said they have not determined a motive.

Jewish community centers and day schools in at least a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, were also targets of bomb scares this past week, the fifth wave since January.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and religious leaders of various faiths will speak at the rally.

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