Gay Jewish blogger Chaim Levin, 22, has filed suit in Brooklyn against his cousin, Sholom Eichler, accusing the older relative of molesting him over a three year period starting in 1996, when Levin was just 6. In the complaint, Levin claims the abuse occurred at the Eichler home, as well as at a synagogue both families were members of.
Eichler, who is in his late 20s, now works as a website manager for his family’s Judaica store.
Levin, who was raised in Crown Heights Hasidic community, runs the blog, Gotta Give ‘Em Hope, and has spoken openly about his horrifying experiences with Jewish reparative-therapy groups. He claims he went to authorities to file criminal charges against Eichler last year but that nothing was done.
Several cases of abuse and molestation among Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jews have made headlines in recent years, owing in part to the fact that the close-knit religious community is so mistrustful of outsiders. Some leaders have even demanded that a victim must speak to their rabbi before going public with accusations.
Below, Levin and other openly gay Jews raised in Orthodox families speak about their experiences in an It Gets Better video