Crown Heights ‘Mitzvah Bus’ Torched in Hate Crime

CROWN HEIGHTS -
The torched iconic Mitzvah Bus, pictured Monday morning. (Yaacov Behrman)

Members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox community rallied Tuesday afternoon in support of Lev Scheiber, the owner of the iconic Mitzvah Bus which was torched in the early hours of Monday morning as it was parked in East Flatbush.

The New York Police Department determined that the fire was intentionally set and is investigating it as a hate crime.

“Lev ‘Leviticus’ Scheiber is an artist whose creativity and passion brings a sense of community spirit to our neighborhood,” stated state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, a Democrat representing Crown Heights, in a press release.

“Anyone who would set fire to the Mitzvah Bus, an artwork itself,” Hamilton added, “commits a hateful act against our entire community.”

Nachum Segal, a well-known talk-show host, led a rally against hate on Troy Ave. and Maple Street, where the bus was torched.

The bus, colorfully decorated with splashy paints and Jewish themes, is a familiar sight in the Jewish community. It is seen regularly at local festivals and was featured in singer Benny Friedman’s music video “Ivri Anochi.”

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