Monday, March 31, 2014

#Married!

Yep, it’s true, I am a married man. I married my husband on March 11th and have kept relatively quiet about it until now other than sharing the fact that Brent and I are in a relationship.

Our wedding was in Brooklyn City Hall on Court Street and the only person there was one of my closest friends. My husband-to-be was wearing flip flops and I was wearing my grey sweater and jeans; it was super romantic. For so long, whenever I thought about my wedding, I couldn’t see the big celebration type of event that I’m used to attending both because those weddings were usually of friends and relatives and they were Orthodox Jewish weddings. While my husband and I both come from Jewish/Orthodox backgrounds, our wedding certainly wasn’t. I’m sure there are many who would assert that our union is anti-Jewish/Orthodox values but frankly I’m too happy to even give much thought about how other people define my marriage.

Part of me has been wanting to scream that I’m married at the top of my lungs to the whole world, but I held back and I’m glad that I did. I write this today with the intention of this being the only statement about my personal married life and my relationship. (Don’t worry, i’ll still be uploading cute pictures of us and funny posts). While I’m thrilled to share this news with everyone, I’m also cautious and hesitant because of the reality that while this news will come as happy news to many, I know that for some this will be the piece of news they never expected to hear from me; in their world, the one piece of news that they’re awaiting is that my career as an activist and identity as a Jewish gay person would come crumbling down. But getting married and settling down? They didn’t see this one coming and that makes me smile inside for many reasons.

I kept my relationship with Brent on the wraps and didn’t talk much about it to anyone other than my therapist and couple of friends. We had started discussing getting married since November, but we decided to jump the gun and make it “official” on March 11th of 2014, and we did it in the way that I had always envisioned myself getting married if I ever did.



Four days after we were married I attended the annual LGBTQ Purim event and it was there that I found myself just saying over and over again to everyone “I’m married” with a beaming smile on my face. My news elicited some very interesting reactions; frankly I’ve kinda been enjoying it, but I know it’s important that I set the record straight and explain how this event has changed me in every imaginable way possible.

Last week a classmate of mine got engaged to be married. I had the chance to attend his engagement party, a very typical and standard event that comes along with the announcement of an engagement, or otherwise known as “becoming official”.  I smirked when I heard someone asking my friend’s brother at the party “So when did it become official?”, and then I wondered when my relationship, my marriage, would become “official”. My friend’s mother, a really lovely person who has known me since I was 8 years old and in the same class as her son, she started wishing me a blessing as people typically do at such events (in a time of happiness it’s appropriate to wish others happiness and she was trying to customize her blessing towards me in a way that didn’t expressly point out the fact that my marriage partner would be a man, but at the same time clearly wanting to wish me only happiness). “You should be happy; everyone has their own versions of happiness and you should be happy according to what works for you.” I beamed and told her that I had actually gotten married 10 days prior but hadn’t told “the world” yet and she was overcome with joy for me; it was a memorable moment.

At the same time I realized that this party that I was at, this celebration was supposed to be for the time in my life when I get engaged and when it becomes “official” in the community that I am engaged to be married to a woman, this celebration that was part of the script of my life which was written well before I was born, this script had changed. I wouldn’t be having an engagement party (otherwise known as “vort” or l’chaim”) with all of my friends and family members who played a major part in the first 18 years of my life. They wouldn’t be coming over to a lavish event hosted in my parents’ living room/dining room/kitchen space (as they did when my one of my older brothers got engaged), and they wouldn’t be wishing me l’chaim (cheers) with wishes and blessings for a “binyan adei ad” (literally means an everlasting foundation) as they were at my friend’s l’chaim.

My celebration looks very different and comes with a lot of questions. The bottom line though is that I’m celebrating one way or the other, and I’m lucky that I have something so amazing that I once never dreamed I would have, someone to call home, someone who’s mine and vice versa. Now I have it and it’s better than anyone was ever able to predict to me about how good it would feel once I felt it or once I knew it; now I know it and feel it and I understand why it’s hard to accurately describe such feelings of love.

My detractors, ranging from the people who somehow believe that my marriage to another man is somehow hurtful or harmful to them or their marriage; the one’s who told me that I’d never be happy living such a ‘lifestyle’ (being honest and true to myself); and to the ones who couldn’t wait to see me fail, here I am. I have a bright amazing future to look forward to with someone who I love, and that’s what I’m focused on; I look forward to not seeing you at my wedding celebration.


PS: This is not an April Fool’s prank but I think that timing is appropriate for me to share this with the world on a day that always somehow tricks me into believing something unreal - this is unreal for me and maybe for you too, but it’s real. Happy April First!








Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Conversation With Yair Hoffman

So Rabbi (Can I even call him that anymore?) Hoffman just responded to my message trying to deny the meaning of his original words while also attempting to justify them. I have no interest in engaging with people like Rabbi Hoffman who blatantly failed so many of us by not only comparing us to pedophiles but also has a dark record of standing in defense of pedophiles. This is the email that he just sent me, along with my response; the rest of this conversation can continue in the court of public opinion; i'm done trying to convince people like Hoffman that he's an enabler, hopefully the public pressure will cause him to re-think.

Rabbi Hoffman to me:

"I never advocated for that therapy.
Firstly, while I too believe that the science behind conversion therapy is faulty and can cause grave damage to the recipient, I want to distinguish between conversion therapy and those who advise not to act upon actions that are violations of both Torah and Rabbinic prohibitions. It is my feeling that a law forbidding conversion therapy can also be applied to the latter group and that is what I feel we should fight against. This is not an attack against the gay community - it is a defense of our religious beliefs, and we must all stand up for our beliefs and rights. If the new bill can be amended to reflect this concern, it would be in everyone's interests.
The second clarification is that I do not have any hate, animosity, or negative feeling to those who are struggling with their identity. All people are created in G-d's image and are loved by Him and should be loved by all of us as well. Is there a prohibition against homosexuality if one doesn't act on it? There is the issue of allowing thoughts to linger (lo sasuru) but no prohibition in who someone is."

My response to Rabbi Hoffman: (the second and last one)

Excuse me Rabbi Hoffman, with all due respect. The premise of your article was about the attack on your religious freedom because of the bans facing these so called therapies.

You have completely avoided my original email and instead tried to get me caught up in tangents and semantics but your words were abundantly clear, and your comparisons of people like myself to pedophiles is not something you can take back without a PUBLIC apology. Until then there's nothing to talk about and I can tell you for certain that the heat will only get stronger until you account for your words.

Ps. If you were wondering, I'm also a victim of pedophelia, I was sexually abused for four years during my childhood. To put me in the same category of such evil is shameful even for you.

PPS. Everything you say to me at this point is on the record and I will be quoting you for what you write so please be cautious with your words because the days where you can compare innocent Jews to pedophiles are over." -Chaim Levin

I refuse to standby as people like Rabbi Hoffman try to dehumanize me and people in my community and I won't ever stop fighting for the intrinsic right that we all have which is to be treated like human beings before anything else.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Re: We Are Under attack by the LGBTPed Community

On the average Wednesday I tend to ignore Yeshiva World News but today Rabbi Yair Hoffman's cry about religious freedom being under attack because telling underage minors that they can be cured from being gay is becoming more and more frowned upon (for good reason).

Let's just cut to the chase on this one:

-Religious freedom doesn't give you the right to promote unlicensed self proclaimed professionals to tell kids who are already confused that their sexuality is their fault and is something that can be cured.

-Religious freedom doesn't mean that you can send your kids to anyone you want for treatment, especially if this treatment is known to cause serious harm to many (myself included).

-Forcing children into conversion therapy against their will is NOT a parent's right, and any parent who tries to do this to their children should be prosecuted for child abuse.

I wonder if Rabbi Hoffman is concerned about the countless underage LGBT kids that are kicked out of their homes, yeshivas and communities because of their orientation.

I also wonder if Rabbi Hoffman is concerned about the methods that these so called professionals use, including but not limited to blaming their parents for their orientation, and most notably being coerced to strip naked in a locked room with an unlicensed "professional".

Stop using religious freedom as an excuse to justify abuse. If a cancer patient (a REAL illness) who is a minor is forced by his parents to see a self proclaimed professional and not a real doctor to deal with his illness and then they die, thees parents would be easily liable for his death. In this case, there is no real illness other than the potential long term very harmful effects of such so called therapies.

It would be in Hoffman's best interest to focus on real problems facing religious communities if that's what he really cares about.

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/editorial/210374/op-ed-we-are-under-attack-by-the-lgbtped-community.html

Ps. It's LGBTQIA (if you cared) - the added PED is not only not funny but also indicative of how quickly people seemed to forget that the nazis came for the Jews and for gay people too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Awareness about the Awareness Center

Vicki Polin, the founder of the awareness center has been circulating rumors that I have been "coercing" people into writing wills and leaving their estates in my name, and then somehow I've been managing to help them commit suicide so that I can steal their livelihoods. Needless to say, these accusations are not only false and ridiculous, they highlight a much bigger problem facing many of us who really want to create positive change in combating the epidemic of sexual abuse.

About six weeks ago Ms. Polin asked me to visit someone who was in a very dangerous emotional place. Polin has been acting as this person's therapist even though they live in different cities and their relationship is a lot less than professional. I did all I can that weekend to comfort this person with the hope of stopping this person from harming themselves. When asking me to spend the weekend with this person Ms Polin, a self proclaimed mental health professional told me "I firmly believe that he WILL kill himself."

On Sunday afternoon following this weekend this individual asked me to help him write a will "in case a freak accident happened to him." I obliged and helped this person write his will even though the circumstances surrounding the writing of this will automatically made this will null and void due to the obvious reality that this person was not in a frame of mind that would allow someone to write a will and have it not be considered written under duress. However, once this person signed this will, this was enough to take affirmative action and have him hospitalized again in what he claims was "probably the one thing that saved his life."

Ms. Polin has not responded to multiple emails from me after she sent out this "alert" accusing me of targeting vulnerable people and forcing them to kill themselves. It should be noted that I was in very close contact with Ms Polin that entire day, including the time that this will was actually being written.

I know that I'm not the first person to be accused of something outrageous by Polin and the Awareness Center but I sincerely hope that I am the last. When I first got "involved" with Polin and her organization four years ago I was hesitant to believe the many warnings given to me by others about that she's not only incompetent but potentially dangerous. Over time I realized that Polin's decisions and trajectory of the awareness center was concerning and I made the decision to resign from board of the Awareness Center - where I was given the title of "director at large" even though I had extremely limited involvement with any decisions the organization made.

Until a few weeks ago I though Vicki Polin was just incompetent but meant well, however, when Polin sent out an email last night to hundreds if not thousands of people accusing me of such horrendous actions I realized that Vicki Polin is really a threat to every single person who cares about the issue of sexual abuse and the people it affects. Polin has used the awareness center's web page to list names of people that has had civil disagreements with online; Polin also accused someone of being inappropriate with survivors but then rescinded this accusation and told me "well, he's good for the money so I can't go against him publicly." Vicki Polin's actions highlight the lack of unity that's affecting so many of us who are trying to create positive change, but worse, her attempts to discredit those who don't work with her cause us to be even more divided.

Awareness is important but I think awareness about The Awareness Center and it's very disturbing history is what matters right now. I hope that an end will be put to this outrageous behavior on Polin's part before someone's life or reputation is permanently harmed.

I have extensive documentation of the phone records, sms messages and emails to prove the above. I will not respond to any comments or questions about this unless it is to an attorney or law enforcement.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Unabashedly Public

Over the last three years, as I’ve written and spoken about some very personal experiences in my life, I’ve received much praise for my bravery, encouragement from others who were motivated to share their stories and come forward, and my voice has never felt louder or more powerful than ever. When I was younger, I used to have nightmares in which I was attempting to scream at the top of my lungs, I was trying to scream about the pain I was feeling, the injustices that I suffered, and the way they were ignored. Today, I no longer have that dream anymore.

Ever since I found my voice and started writing publicly, there hasn’t been a single day that’s gone by where I looked back and regretted my decision. Whether it was talking about being sexually abused for 4 years during my childhood, undergoing so called conversion therapy to try and become straight or shedding light on other people’s plights and raising awareness through them, it’s always been more rewarding than regretful. Some people have chosen to judge me and label me as a “professional victim,” but as far as I’m concerned if that’s what it takes to get said people to talk about these issues that otherwise go ignored, I’m happy to be a professional victim.

I have many detractors out there, some of whom I know but most of whom I don’t know. It pleases me to know that I’ve earned detractors because that means I was part of the important process that forces people to confront issues that they wouldn’t have otherwise known about because they elected to ignore them. Whether it was about the student in Chicago who was put on notice and threatened with expulsion for going public about her past as a rape survivor; the guy who grew up orthodox and got married even though he was gay; the lack of education in many ultra orthodox communities; and many others, I’m proud that I was able to contribute at least one bit in lending a voice to the voiceless.

I don’t represent any group of people, I am an individual who made a decision to share parts of my personal life with the rest of the world in the hopes that someone would benefit through them. I am so thankful to all my supporters and to all the people who constantly encourage me to write more, the ones who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, and I truly do hope that there will come a time where no one ever feels like they’re screaming on the top of their lungs but can’t be heard.

Lots of love.

Chaim Levin

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Allegations Against Employee at JEM Center In Los Angeles Spark Uproar

8/6/13


Los Angeles, CA --  An event was held last night by Jewish parents in Beverly Hills who were concerned about the claims of abuse leveled against counselor/director of JEM center Mendel Tevel. The event was hosted in the home of Esther Abehsera and was organized by Meyer Seewald, director of Jewish Community Watch. In attendance were Deputy District Attorney Rabbi Benny Forer, and one of Tevel’s numerous alleged victims that agreed to talk to the crowd without using his name. About 50 people attended the event that was announced just four hours before it was scheduled to take place. The victim agreed to talk on the condition that people would leave phones and recording devices at the door, with the hope that by telling his story to a large group of people, the charges against Tevel would be taken more seriously because someone agreed to speak in front of a real live audience.


The alleged victim now 23, told the crowd that he was 14 when the abuse occurred. With his wife by his side, he recounted how when he was 14 years old he attended “Shterns” Yeshiva in Upstate New York.“When I was 14, I was in Yeshiva. We called it Shterns. Mendel Tevel was my Mashpia (mentor) and teacher. It started out when it became a big thing in school to work out, lift weights. Tevel offered to be my personal trainer, and he would push me to work harder and harder, and one time he in order to make me work harder he would whip me with a metal. hanger. And from then on, If i stopped working out I’d get whacked in the back with a metal hanger. I had marks, I bled, and I had cuts.” He further alleged that the abuse escalated “After a few days of working out with him, he started offering me messages to relax my muscles so that I wouldn’t be sore that day. After a few times he got into bed with me and sat on top of me to give me a message. I hate to be a little bit vulgar but while he was giving me the massage he was “dry humping me.” "From there it progressed where every day he tried to get me to go to the mikva before Shachris (prayer service). He offered to go with me personally because I didn’t like to be part of the large crowd that go together. One day it was really cold and it was so cold that there was a layer of ice over the Mikvah and I didn’t want to go in. Tevel came up behind me and started smacking me on my behind, and I realized that Tevel had an erection.” It was in that moment that the victim says he realized that something was “not quite right” with their connection and maintains that he distanced himself from Tevel from that point on.


Last week, on a Facebook group called LA Mommies, a member of the group posted her concern about the allegations in Tevel's past and his involvement with JEM center. In her post (which has since been deleted), she alleged that she was contacted by a concerned parent who had heard that Tevel was working at JEM high school. The thread quickly escalated, and one parent, a mother of three wanted to make sure other parents knew about the allegations against Tevel.


This mother said that she was “deeply concerned,” when she saw a Facebook post by Devorah Wagshul, sister in law of Mendel Tevel about JEM with the caption “Ran by the best directors, Aka Bracha and Mende[l]”, attached was a recent Facebook post by JEM Hebrew High. Upon further investigation, this flyer was found on JEM’s website, the phone number lists Brocha Illulian as the contact person for the program. Bracha Illulian is the wife of Mendel Tevel.




After calls to JEM center, a woman who would only identify herself as Chelsea said that “We’re safe here, there’s really not an issue, everyone already knows that there’s no issue.” When asked if Tevel was still part of the staff at JEM she said that “There’s no issue, everyone’s safe, there’s nothing wrong. Nothing happened. Everyone knows this, these are false accusations... and, he didn’t do this, to anybody. They’re lying.”  

JEM Center, which was founded by Rabbi Hertzel illulian in 1984, was once connected to Chabad but has since separated from the movement and operates independently.

Other attendees of the event recounted their own personal stories of being abused when they were minors. One of them, Mordy Gluckowsky alleges that he was abused by his dorm counselor at a Chabad yeshiva abroad, but when he notified the principal of his school he was expelled two days later.


According to David Smith*, he was sexually abused and assaulted by Tevel repeatedly when he was 14/15 years old. David recounts moments where Tevel “whacked him” on his rear with a leather belt; he also recalls multiple incidents of oral sex being performed on him by Tevel. David, who grew up in the Crown Heights community still has the ability to press charges against Tevel for another few months but is reluctant to do so because of what he describes as "strong family pressure and community pressure" placed upon him not to do anything to Tevel. David alleges that he was contacted by a member of the Tevel family and was offered money in exchange for his silence, David says he didn’t accept this offer but is still very reluctant to come forward.


A third alleged victim of Tevel who is past the statute of limitations recounted how Tevel would lure him the basement of his parents’ home when he was around the ages of 6 and 7 years old by offering him candy and the use of his game boy. “He would tie me up to the trampoline and would whip me on my backside with a belt, sometimes with my clothes on and sometimes with my clothes off.” This alleged victim’s testimony is very similar to that of other victims who say that aside from the sexual abuse they endured by Tevel, there was a significant amount of physical assault perpetrated against them by Tevel with leather belts in their backside area.


A letter written by members of the Jewish community has already acquired almost 75 signatures within 24 hours. The letter offers support and encouragment to victims of Tevel to come forward. The reason for writing this letter according Seewald was because “we want to show the victims how much support there already is out there, public support for them. There are so many people who are anonymously offering their support, that's not good enough anymore.” As this story continues to grow, many people in the Los Angeles communities are unsure if their children are safe at JEM center. Some mothers are alleging that Tevel sometimes goes to the Hebrew High school in Beverly Hills to put on Tefilin with younger teenagers. Other parents expressed concern about Brocha Illulian, Tevel’s wife who would frequently stand near their children’s schools and hands out flyers promoting JEM’s upcoming events.


Seewald, who attempted to alert the Illulian family before Tevel was engaged to their daughter said: “I went directly to Rabbi Hertzel Illulian when I heard that his daughter was getting engaged to Tevel. Rabbi Illulian outright dismissed the possibility that Tevel still poses a danger to children, and when I told him the graphic details given to me by one of Tevel’s victims in which the victim described Tevel performing oral sex on him, Illulian asked me if “he [the victim] enjoyed it”. A response that even for Seewald, who claims to have heard about so many similar stories, shocked him. "He tried to blame the victim by implying that because he might have enjoyed it, it was his fault."

Seewald remarked that the event "was revolutionary." "For the first time in two years a victim got up and talked to parents for the sake of protecting children even though he knew that people may find out his identity. I’ve never seen a victim empowering so many other people to talk. I hope that people learn from this that there’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. People should see that coming forward is not just something that will help the public, but it will also help victims heal from their personal trauma.” He ended off by saying that he hopes that this turn of events will set a better precedent for victims of the Chabad community in Crown Heights. "We have almost 70 signatures by now, but hardly any of them are from members of the Crown Heights community, where Tevel committed many of his alleged crimes." Seewald said that this event was a very emotional one for him, and he hopes that the Crown Heights and greater Chabad communities will follow the example set by the people who attended this event and also by the people who signed the letter of support.

*name changed per victim's request







Monday, August 5, 2013

An Open Letter to the Victims of Mendel Tevel

Dear friend,


We know this isn’t easy for you to talk or hear about but we are compelled to write to you today. As you may or may not know, Mendel Tevel lives here in Los Angeles now and is slated to be working with children. As concerned parents, adults, and individuals who care deeply about this, we want you to know that should you decide to come forward, you will have our full and unwavering support.


We know that coming out publicly about something like this isn’t easy, we can’t pretend to know what the pain you feel is like, but we can try and sympathize. More importantly, please understand that our appeal to you is out of genuine concern for the safety of so many other innocent children and teenagers. Our concern is so that what happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again, and that the person who hurt you is held accountable.


We are doing everything we can to confront this danger but we need your help. We have heard some of your stories that you’ve bravely shared to a few people, but unfortunately right now that isn’t enough. We urge you to come forward. By doing this you will not only be doing what is the right thing for yourselves, but you will be saving the lives of many children who still have a chance to be spared for the pain and misery that you were subjected to.


We know that your voices were ignored and pushed away, but time’s are changing and there are so many of us who are here waiting to hear from you so that we can support you and show you just how much we care for you and for the well being of others. Please know that we will do whatever we can to protect you, support you, and cheer you on as you take on this daunting task. Please know that we care deeply about the safety of our children and while we can’t take away the pain you experienced, but we can and will do everything possible to spare others from this horrible pain.


  1. Ilanit Gluckowsky                         
  2. Jennifer Gavriela Ray 
  3. Ashira Siegel Fox
  4. Tania Ravaei
  5. Meyer Seewald 
  6. Chaim Levin
  7. Mitchell S. Gilbert, MSW
  8. Hasti Daneshvar
  9. Hannah Shapiro
  10. Levi Moscowitz
  11. Benny Forer
  12. Alison Erhard Tomlinson
  13. Alan Schwartz
  14. Chanie Friedman
  15. Schneur Borenstien
  16. Musia Herzog
  17. Rivky Fhima
  18. Dina S. Meyer
  19. DeDe Jacobs-Komisar
  20. Yakov Jacobs-Komisar
  21. Shirin Lavi
  22. Mariashi Bennett
  23. Shloimie A Bennett
  24. Mirka Hermoza Laznik
  25. Rivkah Joseph
  26. Ooana Trien
  27. Yaffa Moorvitch
  28. Ira Jay Rosen
  29. Izzy Blugrind
  30. Miriam Levy-Haim
  31. Ettil Bloom
  32. Tali Gonik
  33. Chaya Mushka Milchtein 
  34. Tamar Dermer
  35. Mona Rashidi
  36. Shifra Zipp
  37. Ayallah Greenberg, LCSW
  38. Kendal Leah Feldman
  39. Yossi Feldman
  40. David B. Katz
  41. Lisa Surany
  42. Ladan Soomekh
  43. Janice Isaac
  44. Raymond Karlin
  45. Binyomin Kluger
  46. Chani Brenner
  47. Jesse Wood
  48. Yoni Nissim
  49. Sara Nissim
  50. Shaghayegh Tavassoli
  51. Kimberly Bekhor
  52. Joshua Bekhor
  53. Miriam Nockenofsky
  54. Ilanit Abehsera
  55. Tova Harkham-Bernstein 
  56. Sharona Katan
  57. Neda Roshani
  58. Michal Levin
  59. Rebecca Zaghi
  60. Sahar Shaoulian
  61. Rivka Tamir
  62. Doreen Bitton
  63. Sarita Cadji Bryman
  64. Neda Lalezar
  65. Kami Roshani
  66. Mahvash Lalezari
  67. Nasser Lalezari
  68. Sharon Basson
  69. Chaim Forer
  70. Regina Ratner, Esq.
  71. Dina Forer
  72. Ruchama Langsam
  73. Ruchama Rodin
  74. Eliza Ghanooni
  75. Shaina Weiss
  76. Saadya Notik
  77. Tania Ravaei 
  78. Shayna Bukiet
  79. Brocha Mishoulovin 
  80. Sherry S. Nafeh, M.A, LMFT
  81. Debra Kushon
  82. Debora Haratz
  83. Daniela Friend
  84. Mimi Andrusier
  85. Yirmy Andrusier 
  86. Rabbi Yitzhak Hanoka
  87. George King
  88. Zahava Leaf
  89. Boorey Deutsch
  90. Debbie Banafsheha
  91. Dan Banafsheha
  92. Betty Gabble
  93. Chayim Eliyahu Mishulovin
  94. Eliana DuBrow
  95. Yaakov Eliyahu Reef
  96. Tzipora Javaheri
  97. Sarah B. Gross
  98. David Spencer
  99. Chana Blugrind
  100. Yisroel Blugrind
  101. Dassie Segal
  102. Joanna Missry
  103. Sammy Missry
  104. Blumie Heisler
  105. Avrohom Becker
  106. Amy Kapriva
  107. Zephania Waks
  108. Michael Bitton
  109. Sherry Gross
  110. Phyliss Shallman
  111. Chaya Sarah Toron
  112. Sharon Bastomski
  113. Sinaia Hirkam
  114. Rita Saraf Solomon
  115. Pante Benyamini Shaye
  116. Sara Raoof Jacobs
  117. Spencer Fine
  118. Mottie Weiss
  119. Davina Jaboury
  120. Alan Tsarovsky
  121. Nechama Shira Maor
  122. Rachel Silberstein 
  123. Alana Fine
  124. Mushkie Haskelevich 
  125. Levi Seewald
  126. Fayge Seewald
  127. Schneur Seewald
  128. Chaim Seewald
  129. Mordechai Seewald
  130. Eli Seeald
  131. Yanky Seewald
  132. Rivky Seewald
  133. Targol Khanoom
  134. Elizabeth Jahanian
  135. Sally Harkham
  136. Jacob Bernstein
  137. Johan Chabo
  138. Aria Ahdoot
  139. Patricia Ahdoot
  140. Luke Ford
  141. Rochel Ratner
  142. Sheryl Cohen
  143. Susan Shapiro
  144. Faigy Bassman
  145. Susan Leisman
  146. Simone Mishulovin
  147. Carlo Goldin
  148. Allison Stone
  149. Dovid Meshchaninov
  150. Freida Shusterman
  151. Sholom Laiken
  152. Ronna Tobin
  153. Chana Holtzberg
  154. Chana Lew
  155. Avi Shomer
  156. Sprintza Blumenthal
  157. Hannah Newman Daphna
  158. Esther P. Marks
  159. Sam Wachtel
  160. Rachel Lewin
  161. Chani Elkin
  162. Kayla Brown
  163. Shani Verschleiser 
  164. Alfredo Roldán Flores
  165. Shimon Rosenthal
  166. Hindel Moskovitz
  167. Ephraim Samadi
  168. Joseph Tatik
  169. Sarah Katz
  170. Yehudis Smith
  171. Chava Gardner
  172. Yitzi Cole
  173. Tamara Rosen
  174. Gittel Lazerson


We are hoping that as many people as possible will atribute their name and signature to this letter to show their support for these victims. If you would like to have your name on this letter please email me at chaim89@gmail.com or indicate so in the comments below.
-Chaim Levin

If you or anyone you know has any information about Mendel Tevel's alleged crimes please contact Special Victims Unit of Brooklyn @ 718-230-4416

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Boycott Russian Vodka and Protest their Draconian Homophobic Laws!

Sadly, as it becomes clearer that despite most of the world moving forward on gay right's issues, Russia is moving backwards. The horrific reports, frightening images and videos of LGBT people in Russia being persecuted should serve to put Russians on notice that we will NOT tolerate such inhumane treatment of people.

This image is one of 36 shocking photos that give us a glimpse into the disturbing realities facing LGBT people in Russia today.

In the meantime, here's a list of Russian vodkas that we should all be boycotting in protest to this gross violation of human rights and human dignity.



Russia
Gold Symphony (Золотая симфония)

Russia

Russia
Hrenovuha (Хреновуха)

Russia

Russia
Kubanskaya (Кубанская)

Russia
Moskovskaya (Московская)

Russia
Narodnaya (Народная)

Russia
Pyatizvyozdnaya (Пятизвёздная)
*
Russia
Putinka (Путинка)
*
Russia
Rodnik (Родник)

Russia
Ruskova (Рускова)

Russia
Russian Standard (Русский стандарт)
*
Russia
Shustov (Шустов)

Russia
Starka (Старка)

Russia
Stolichnaya (Столичная)
*
Latvia & Russia
Stolnaya (Стольная)

Russia
Youri Dolgoruki (Юрий Долгорукий)

Russia


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chairman of Crown Heights Jewish Community Counsel to Host Fundraiser for Charles Hynes

This was posted on Zaki Tamir's Facebook page moments ago. I shared this status with the comments below and Tamir responded defending Charles Hynes' history as the Brooklyn DA and referred to the recent EXTREMELY disturbing and almost overwhelming charges against Hynes as "Conspiracy Theories" 
EXCLUSIVE PARTY AT MY HOUSE THIS MONDAY NIGHT - FUNDRAISER FOR THE BROOKLYN DA (yes, the one from the TV show) Charles Hynes - message me privately if you want in. love zt

Zaki Tamir is a "lawyer who chairs the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council" as of March 12th in a recent article,is hosting a fundraiser for a District Attorney who has protected the interests of child molesters, sex offenders and other criminals before protecting the innocent people who deserve justice.

Charles J. Hynes is using CBS to try and portray his office in a better light, but there is no better light; Brooklyn needs a new DA and I think it's a sham that someone who represents [at least part of] Crown Heights and, who has sworn to uphold the law would host a fundraiser for an incumbent is so corrupt.

I might not be considered Chabad anymore by some accounts, not orthodox by others, but I grew up in Crown Heights and it will always be a part of me no matter where I am, and like the good old saying goes: "NOT IN MY BACKYARD!".

Tamir responded defending his decision to this event and Says: 
"I don't think he is corrupt at all. I work in the D.A.'s office for 4 years and I find him to be very fair. As a defense attorney, I deal with Hynes' office every day and any defense attorney will tell you that it is a pleasure dealing with his office. Especially compared to other DA offices in other counties."
I wonder what the Attorneys representing Sam Kellner and the many others who were wrongfully convicted by Hynes would say to that charge.
Tamir continued:
 If u are drinking the coolaid of the conspiracy theories and if u think the parties of your company don't have an agenda of their own, then I'm sorry to inform u, that u are the one under a rock. I live and breath the criminal justice system every day, and Kings is one of the best countries for real justice. There are several candidates that previously ran against the D.A. And we finding out now about the degree of real corruption that was taking place in Brooklyn till now. In the past 25 years, Hynes has cleaned this county up, and yet a lot of work is ahead of us, I think your lens is narrow. But of course u are entitled to your opinion.


I guess we can share these articles with him and the rest of the people who for one second think that Brooklyn is safe as long as Charles Hynes claims to represents our interests.



http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/nyregion/09vecchione.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-06-12/news/charles-hynes-murder-witness/


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY: Abuse Advocates to Protest Charges Against Heroic Whistleblower

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WHAT: Abuse Advocates to Protest Charges Against Heroic Whistleblower

WHERE: 350 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

WHEN: Thursday July 11th at 11am

Contact: Chaim Levin
Chaim89@gmail.com
Ph: 917-293-3674

Brooklyn, New York - July 10, 2013 - Today, members of several large abuse advocacy organizations announced that they would be joining together this Thursday to protest unfounded charges from the Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes's office against Sam Kellner, a father who reported his son's allegations and heroically encouraged others to do the same against notorious abuser Boruch Lebovitz in 2010.

Kellner stands falsely accused of having blackmailed a witness into testifying against Lebovitz but as reported in The New York Times and The Jewish Week, prosecutors recently told the trial judge that they found their key witness was unreliable despite Kellner's defense having asked the DA for a month to look into the credible allegation that the witness against Kellner was being manipulated.  Furthermore despite the case being unprosecutable at this point the DA has still refused to drop the charges.  Said witness has changed his story on several occasions and has been found to have been receiving money for expenses from an activist in the Orthodox Jewish community, Zalmen Ashkenazi, a Lebovitz supporter he previously claimed he did not know.

"Sam Kellner is a father who sought justice for his son," said activist Chaim Levin, the organizer of the protest. "He has been on trial for 28 months and is facing 21 years in prison. We ask Charles Hynes to think of the Biblical dictate tzedek tzedek tirdof, justice, justice, you shall pursue and ask himself: Is this justice?"

The protest will be held on 11:00 a.m. at 350 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201 on July 11, 2013.