19.8 F
New York
Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘Orthodox’ Gay Activist Sues Eichler for Abuse

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Must read

Orthodox gay activist Chaim Levin celebrates his lifestyle in front of a landmark establishment within the Greenwich Village gay community.A self-styled Orthodox Jewish gay activist is lodging a lawsuit against his cousin, a member of the family that owns a large Brooklyn Judaica store, for allegedly committing acts of sexual abuse against him when the two were children.

Chaim Levin, who maintains an Internet blog on which he discusses his pride in being a homosexual while maintaining his religious affiliation, is claiming in a Brooklyn Supreme Court civil lawsuit that Sholom Eichler abused him on a weekly basis between 1996 and 1999 both in shul and at Eichler’s home. Levin was six years old in 1996 and Eichler was approximately six or seven years older. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Eichler, who works for the family business in Flatbush as the store’s website manager, did not offer any comment on the charges. While Levin asserts that he approached prosecutors with the matter last year – and that they did not take any action – a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office was unable to confirm that.

Levin’s lawsuit comes amidst a spate of news stories focusing on the controversial issue of child molestation within the Orthodox community and an internal dispute over how to deal with suspected cases. Responding to charges that his office has been too lenient regarding alleged intimidation by community members of Orthodox individuals who seek to report such incidents to government authorities, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes recently arrested four Chassidic men on the charge of intimidating a witness to prevent her from testifying against a well-known community member who had allegedly abused her for an extended period while counseling her.

In a recent entry on his blog, Levin discusses his triumphant feelings about being allowed to march in the Celebrate Israel parade this year as part of the group known as “Jewish Queer Youth,” which publicly claims that one can be both Orthodox and identifiably gay without any feelings of inner contradiction.

“I was proud to march and represent LGBTQ Jews in the largest event in the world,” Levin wrote in an essay, “transcending movements and politics and representing Jewish solidarity.”

Within the same composition, Levin demonstrates the extent of his extremely liberal mindset by expressing his concern for the plight of Palestinian Arabs and their alleged mistreatment by the Jewish state.
“I am ashamed to know that some of my own relatives had been involved in anti-Palestinian violence in the rebels’ uprising before the state of Israel was established,” Levin writes.

“Some in my family take pride in this heritage — a legacy of cold-blooded murder of innocent women and children in a town called Deir Yassin. For me, it’s a stain of intolerance, heartlessness, hatred and murder.” Levin neglects to mention the acts of Palestinian violence toward the stateless Jews that preceded the Deir Yassin incident and – while not necessarily justifying the vengeful acts at Deir Yassin – clearly inflamed tensions between the two groups.

“Despite what many try to deny, Palestinian people, who have lived in the region long before the nation of Israel was recreated, have suffered oppression, hatred, pain and denial of basic human rights simply because they are different and declared intolerable and not to belong,” Levin continues. “A woman recently argued to me, ‘There are 27 other Arab countries in the Middle East, why can’t any of them take in these Palestinians?’ Essentially, her argument was that everyone living in Palestine who doesn’t belong should move to another country.”

Here too, Levin neglects to mention the relentless campaign of terror waged by Palestinians against Israelis from 1948 to the present, the aberrant propensity of many Palestinians to willingly sacrifice their own lives and the lives of their children as suicide bombers, and the repeated failure by Palestinian leadership to accept generous peace offers by the Israeli government.

Levin also does not mention the fact that “Palestinian Arabs” were never actually a historically distinct nation, thus rendering their quest for their own state essentially illegitimate – especially given the likelihood that such a state would be at the expense of Israeli security and territorial integrity.

Eichler’s Judaica in the heart of Flatbush has been an area landmark for many years, highly popular for its wide range of Jewish books and gift items. The store is apparently unrelated to the Boro Park outlet with the same name. In addition to the Judaica operation, in 2005 proprietor Meyer Eichler opened Liberty Pointe Bank in New York, in conjunction with prominent real estate developer Shaya Boymelgreen. Eichler’s goal was to run a financial institution that fully complied with Jewish law in all relevant aspects.

Despite an aggressive marketing campaign and high hopes for its three branches – two in Brooklyn and one in lower Manhattan – within five years of opening, Liberty Pointe Bank was unable to remain financially afloat. Taken over by federal authorities, it was placed under the ownership of Valley National Bank.

balance of natureDonate

Latest article