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Grace: Every toppled headstone at Jewish cemetery in Omaha represents a life story to be told

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The headstones of Kenneth Freed’s father and uncle, both Jewish immigrants, were among those desecrated at Temple Israel’s cemetery property at 6412 N. 42nd St.


Kenneth Freed has 10 family members buried in the cemetery owned by Temple Israel. He and his wife plan to be buried there, too.


The Freed family, including Miriam, center, and Schoal, right.


Kenneth Freed's father and uncle, who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia, are among his relatives buried in the vandalized Jewish cemetery. 


 The Jewish cemetery on North 42nd Street dates to 1871.


Some of the gravestones. Temple Israel says it would be irresponsible to call this anti-Semitism. But David Barkey of the national Anti-Defamation League says the vandalism “obviously is perceived as an attack on the Jewish community.”


The tombstones of Kenneth Freed’s father and uncle were among the more than 85 markers broken or knocked down at the Jewish cemetery on North 42nd Street.


Eighty-five headstones were knocked down at the Jewish cemetery on North 42nd Street. “Every person buried in our cemetery has made his or her impact on the world in a uniquely profound way," said Rabbi Brian Stoller of Temple Israel. "Everyone buried there has a story.”


The tombstone of Schoal K. Freed, a Russian immigrant who arrived in Omaha in 1912. The Hebrew inscription says, “May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.”


The damage at the cemetery owned by Temple Israel is estimated at $40,000.

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Metro columnist

Columnist Erin Grace has covered a variety of beats since she started at The World-Herald in 1998 — from education to City Hall and from the city's western suburbs to its inner-city neighborhoods. Follow her on Twitter @ErinGraceOWH. Phone: 402-444-1136.

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