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$220K donated to vandalized Jewish cemetery, restorations begin Tues.

Restoration work will begin next week at a Jewish cemetery in the city's Wissinoming section where vandals toppled more than 100 headstones last month.

In the wake of the damage at Mount Carmel Cemetery, which made headlines nationwide, nearly 3,000 people donated more than $220,000 toward the restoration, cleanup, and security of the site, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, which collected the funds.

The Federation said restoration work will begin at the cemetery on the 5700 block of Frankford Avenue in Wissinoming on Tuesday. It will be led by Joe Ferrannini of Gravestone Matters cemetery preservation and the National Park Service's Philadelphia office.

Paid laborers and volunteers — including members of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 — will be trained by Ferrannini to repair, prep, and reset the broken headstones. Workers will also fix the fence around the cemetery and install lighting.

The toppled headstones were first reported on Feb. 26, just a week after a similar incident at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.

However, it is unclear exactly when the headstones were toppled at the Philadelphia cemetery, which had been in a state of disrepair for years.

Steven Rosenberg, chief marketing officer for the Federation, said more than 500 headstones at the cemetery are in need of repair, but officials believe only about 100 of those were damaged in the recent incident.

"Some are from previous vandals and some are from the results of time and gravity," Rosenberg said. "We've narrowed it down to more than 100 from that single night, though it's hard to tell which from which."

Many people with loved ones buried in Mount Carmel had trouble reaching those in charge of the site, so the Federation stepped up to field concerned family members' calls. Nearly 100 people reached out to the Federation to try and determine whether their loved one's headstone was among those damaged.