Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, July 15, 2011

Damaged plaque marking state's first Jewish cemetery will be replaced

U-M officials are ensuring that a damaged historic marker identifying the site of the state's first Jewish cemetery will be replaced at its location near the Rackham Building on Central Campus.

The damage to the metal plaque at the corner of East Huron and Fletcher streets was discovered shortly after 2 a.m. on July 10. It was broken into two pieces, both of which are in the university's possession.

"The university will work with appropriate state officials and ensure the plaque is replaced as soon as possible," said Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations.

Diane Brown, public information officer for the Department of Public Safety, said there are no suspects or leads in the incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact DPS at 734-763-1131, or the U-M Anonymous Tip Line at 800-863-1355.

Brown said it is not known whether those involved were interrupted and fled, may have realized the metal wasn't as valuable as they had anticipated, or simply quit what they were doing because it was too difficult.

Tilly Shames, associate director of Hillel, a Jewish campus organization, issued the following statement:

"We at Hillel are very proud of the fact that this historic site for the Jewish community and Ann Arbor community is a part of our campus and we are saddened by the fact that the marker was vandalized. Our campus community is strengthened by knowing and preserving our history and we are hopeful that the marker will be restored swiftly."