Back in March, we all got very sad over the abandoned and decaying Mount Zion Cemetery in East LA. The organization that ran the cemetery gave it up more than 40 years ago, the Jewish community that had settled in Boyle Heights moved away, and the known descendants of the people buried there had just about all died themselves. But the news also may have spurred some action: later this month a group of rabbis will tour the cemetery, and hopefully start a drive to raise the cash to repair it. According to the Jewish Journal, one 2007 estimate to repair 4,000 headstones came in at $250,000. The Jewish Federation, which spends $25,000 looking after the cemetery but doesn't own it, won't allow work to begin until there's enough money lined up to pay skilled workers to complete the job. The "skilled" part is key--back in the 1990s, a company came in to right toppled gravestones, got a little confused, and lost track of which headstones went where. Downtown developer Izek Shomof has already pledged $25,000 to repair one row of graves.
· Restoring Mount Zion Cemetery [JJ]
· The Saddest Things About East LA's Abandoned Jewish Cemetery [Curbed LA]