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Artist’s Iconic ‘Mitzvah Bus’ Burns In Crown Heights

A colorful converted school bus used by a Brooklyn artist as both a studio and workplace burnt to the ground late Sunday night.

Lev Scheiber, the owner, said he was shocked to find his elaborately-decorated vehicle destroyed this morning.

“I went to the bus today and it was completely destroyed. My initial reaction was it was a targeted act,” Scheiber told the Forward, standing nearby the gutted vehicle. “It’s a very splashy bus. It’s clearly Jewish.”

The bus was decorated with distinctly Jewish iconography, like menorahs, and was parked near the intersection of Maple Street and Troy Ave., on the edge of Crown Heights. Scheiber has been parking there for the last two years, he said, and called the area safe.

The bus is a familiar sight at community festivals and was featured in the singer Benny Friedman’s music video “Ivri Anochi.” In a statement about the fire, Friedman called Scheiber’s bus a “mitzvah mobile” that added “joy and excitement” to people’s days.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum




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