More than 100 headstones were toppled at a historic Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, NBC Philadelphia reported on Friday.
According to the report, the groundskeeper of the Adath Jeshurun Cemetery arrived around 6:00 a.m. Thursday to the burial ground to find dozens of grave markers knocked down.
"The thought went through my mind, 'this is a disgrace for somebody to do something like this,'" the groundskeeper, Johnny Gibson, who has worked at the cemetery for 44 years, told NBC Philadelphia.
The vandals knocked down 124 headstones, but didn't leave any marking or graffiti, Gibson said.
Some graves on the 12-acre property date back 160 years and there are only a few new burials each year now, he added. On many days, neighbors use the cemetery as a shortcut.
Gibson said that he can’t recall anyone ever desecrating grave sites over the past decades.
“I don't know who would do it,” he told NBC Philadelphia. “Were the people on drugs? Were they drunk? I don't know. But you wouldn't be in your right mind, I don't think, to do something like this.”
While the nature of the incident is not yet clear, anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the United States, with a 21% increase overall in 2014, according to a damning Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report released in March.
In April, shots were fired outside of a synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee. No one was hurt.
In late March, two Jewish teenagers were attacked with paintballs in Brooklyn as they were coming home from synagogue with their grandfather. Several weeks earlier, the car of a rabbi in the city of Dallas was vandalized with a swastika.
Earlier in the year, some 30 homes were spray-painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic expressions in Madison, Wisconsin.
And in an incident in Texas, a judge was reprimanded in May for offensive comments against a Jewish attorney
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)