NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Members of the Jewish community of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, discovered several graves in the city’s historic Marina Roscha Jewish cemetery that had been vandalized by unknown perpetrators.
According to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Shimon Bergman, the city’s chief rabbi, one of the tombstones that had been overturned was that of Rabbi Yehuda Bershtein, chief rabbi of Nizhny Novgorod during the 1950s. Several other tombstones were smashed.
Bergman added that local authorities were investigating the case, but had not made any arrests.
The central Russian city is the country’s fourth-largest and sits at the confluence of the Oka and Volga Rivers. Its Jewish community dates back to 1840, when retired Jewish soldiers began to settle in the growing industrial town. A member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, the community today operates an Ohr Avner Chabad Day School, a Jewish cultural center, a mikvah, soup kitchen, synagogue, yeshiva and several youth groups.