Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetery vandalized

Oudtshoorn - The Chevra Kadisha in Oudtshoorn this week discovered the Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetary to have been vandalised, with a number of gravestones damaged in the process. Family members of those buried in this cemetery are urged to come forward. The Chevra Kadisha is looking for assistance in repairing gravestones.

Spokesperson for the Oudtshoorn Chevra Kadisha, Bernard Herman said this is the first bad incident they’ve really experienced at this cemetary.

“We intend to restore all the affected headstones at this stage, around 25 gravestones have been damaged. We intend on laying them flat, as has been the policy in the last couple of years, but this will be the next project once repairs have been done.

“This will incur major costs. Maintaining the cemetery over the years has been a costly affair with no particular assistance from any party.

“Our recent expenses were incurred working around the southern boundary wall, removing old tress which were damaging graves and recreating the many childrens’ ground mounds, which date back to the flu epidemic.

“We also surrounded the entire boundary wall with hundreds of meters of barbed wire at great expense some time ago, and every inch has been removed and stolen since.

“We are fighting a losing battle in our small and shrinking Jewish community.”

Bernard said people globally are connected to the Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetery, which must be considered one of the oldest in South Africa.

He hopes to soon make a list available of the names recorded on damaged stones, for families’ ease of reference.

Source: capesajbd