- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Jewish artist’s iconic minibus, known locally as the “Mitzvah” bus, was found torched Monday in Brooklyn.

The repurposed school bus, colorfully painted with Jewish symbols and imagery, served as a traveling art studio by artist Leviticus Schieber, who goes by Leviticus.

It was was recently featured in a music video by Jewish singer Benny Friedman called, “I’m Jew and I’m Proud,” a local NBC affiliate reported.

“It represents the Jewish spirit and sort of old-school Crown Heights,” Mr. Schieber told the station.

The bus, parked near the corner of Troy Avenue and Maple Street in East Flatbush, was found charred and with busted windows just after midnight Monday, the New York Post reported.

Sources said surveillance video of the incident showed a man standing near the bus before and after the fire.

“My first instinct was that it was targeted for some reason, maybe just because it’s a funny-looking bus,” Mr. Schieber said. “But it’s obviously the only bus on this block that’s destroyed.”

Authorities are reportedly investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. No arrests have been made.

A GoFundMe page to “recover the bus” had raised more than $2,300 as of Tuesday afternoon.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Schieber’s bus has been vandalized while parked in the same location. He told NBC that someone slashed one of his tires about a year and a half ago. Other residents who park in the area told NBC that their vehicles have been vandalized as well.

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