Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Collive.com   Jewish Artist's Mini-Bus Torched

Click here to donateA brightly painted mini-bus, which featured prominently in Benny Friedman's latest music video, was torched Sunday night in Crown Heights. A familiar mini-bus, brightly painted and often seen driving around the Crown Heights neighborhood, was torched Sunday night by unknown individuals. Lev Scheiber, a Crown Heights resident and artist who goes by the name "Leviticus," is the owner of the bus, which he uses as an all purpose vehicle, art studio and to transport his children to school. The bus is brightly painted with illustrations, including some Jewish symbols such as Menorahs, Scheiber says. The vehicle has become famous in its own right in recent months, as it is prominently featured in singer Benny Friedman's music video "Ivri Anochi." Scheiber says someone set fire to the bus while it was parked on Troy Avenue and Maple Street, sometime during Sunday night. "When I got to the bus in the morning, to retrieve some art supplies, I found it completely charred," Scheiber told COLlive. "It looked like the Apocalypse." Scheiber says he contacted police, who said "it didn't matter." "They told me to try and find my own surveillance footage from nearby homes, and that it was my problem," he said. Singer Benny Friedman expressed his shock at the torching of the bus.  "The world is unfortunately full of these sad reminders that the work of filling the world with light is a full time job," Friedman said. "My friend Lev drives a 'Mitzvah mobile,' a vehicle that just from its look alone adds joy and excitement to people's day, and reminds us to spread light. Hatefulness and darkness don't have a chance," he said. On Monday afternoon, Scheiber filed a police report who said "it appears to have been an intentional act."  It is unknown yet whether the act of vandalism will be labeled a hate crime. Scheiber is now trying to raise funds to purchase a new bus, which he needs for his livelihood

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