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Rally for Lev Tahor
February 14, 2014 permalink
Chatham man organizing rally to show support for Jewish sect Lev Tahor
The founder of a local human rights Facebook group is hoping to show members of the Lev Tahor Jewish community there are local people who support them.
Dave Formosa is organizing a Lev Tahor community peace rally on Feb. 25, near the Chatham-Kent Court House, from 1-3 p.m.
“It basically came about through Facebook,” he told The Chatham Daily News, noting there were posts on another Facebook group about a local resident who expressed negative experiences being a neighbour of members of the group.
“That kind of brought on a lot of disrespect towards their community,” he said.
Formosa, who founded the Facebook group, Cupcakes to Restore Humanity, said a posting about how one of the Jewish members was spat on by someone while shopping prompted him to take action.
“That . . . kind of hit a soft spot for a lot of people,” he said.
Controversy has swirled around the Jewish community since it arrived in Chatham in late November, from Quebec, just a few days before a child protection hearing was to take place. A Chatham judge recently ruled child welfare officials have the right to seize 13 children from the ultra-orthodox group and put them into temporary foster care in Quebec.
Formosa said he met with members of Lev Tahor recently to ask how they would feel about a peace rally.
Despite all the accusations about the group, Formosa said the message he received is “they can't believe all the support that Chatham is giving them.”
Uriel Goldman, a Lev Tahor community organizer, said everyday people offer “good words,” adding he is approached by people everywhere from the doctor's office and bank to the grocery and gas station.
“It's really, really nice that people understand . . . we really appreciate that,” he said.
Mayer Rosner, a director with Lev Tahor, said the group has nothing to do with organizing the rally. He appreciates that people understand the heartbreak they are experiencing.
He added people understand their feelings even though they are not of the same religion or look the same, and live a different lifestyle.
“They're giving us a right to exist and taking the time to show support, it gives a very good feeling to us,” Rosner said.
Formosa said, “basically, all we're trying to do right now is get people to understand that they are people, just like everyone else.”
He said Feb. 25 is the date members of Lev Tahor will be at the court house filing an appeal to prevent the children being returned to Quebec. He added at that time, members of Lev Tahor plan on thanking those in attendance at the rally for their support.
Source: Chatham Daily News