Red spray-painted images, including a backward swastika, were discovered on objects in and around Lansing Avenue Jewish Cemetery at 3953 East 57th St. in Cleveland.
Cemetery manager Brett Cochran discovered the damage Nov. 16 and reported it to the Cleveland Police Department Nov. 17, according to a police report.
“Cochran reported that on Nov. 16 he observed spray-painted graffiti at the Lansing Cemetery,” according to the police report. “A backward swastika was seen on a utility pole, a star inside a circle was on another utility pole, the word ‘Jewish’ (was) seen on a large planter.”
There was also a star within a circle on a tree observed by the police officer.
J. David Heller, board chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in Beachwood, posted a statement on the Federation’s website Nov. 16.
“We are sickened by the vile and cowardly act of vandalism that we discovered today at the Lansing Avenue Jewish Cemetery,” Heller stated. “This attempt to desecrate a final resting place that has served our community since 1890 is unforgivable and indefensible. Federation and its security provider – JFC Security, LLC – are working closely with local law enforcement to bring all responsible parties to justice. Hate has no home in Cleveland, and we will continue to work tirelessly to keep all Jewish Clevelanders safe.”
Lansing Avenue Cemetery is one of several cemeteries the Federation manages in Cleveland and surrounding cities.