Photo Credit: courtesy, Leviticus
Leviticus examines his torched bus.

Vocalist Benny Friedman “and friends” gathered to perform Tuesday afternoon (June 27) to show their solidarity with a young Orthodox Jewish artist who was targeted by anti-Semites this week.

Leaders from the Crown Heights community rallied behind Lev Scheiber (‘Leviticus’), owner of the ‘Iconic Mitzvah Bus’ that was torched early Monday morning in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York.

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The New York Police Department determined that the fire was intentionally set and is investigating it as a hate crime, said neighborhood activist Yaacov Behrman.

The bus is a well known sight in the Jewish community, regularly seen at local festivals, and was featured in singer Benny Friedman’s music video “Ivri Anochi,” which garnered over two million views.

“I found the bus Monday morning completely charred. I used the bus as an art studio for Jewish themed paintings, and to transport my kids to school. We are all devastated,” Leviticus said.

Friedman called on the community to show support for Lev: “My friend Leviticus drives a ‘Mitzvah mobile,’ a vehicle that just from its look alone adds joy and excitement to people’s day,” the vocalist said.

“He has dedicated his life to spreading the message that hate and darkness don’t have a chance. Let us support him during this difficult time ” Friedman urged.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.