Worship meetings were to support ‘aging, home-ridden’ Holocaust survivor

WND News ServicesBy WND News Services

Kate Anderson
Daily Caller News Foundation

The city of Beverly Hills in California sent a Notice of Violation to a rabbi in June, ordering him to cease holding religious meetings in his home after putting him under surveillance, according to a Wednesday press release from First Liberty.

Rabbi Levi Illulian has been hosting many worship meetings inside his home in order to support an “aging, home-ridden” Holocaust survivor, and after several complaints, the city allegedly responded by opening an investigation into the proceedings before sending the notice on June 12, according to the press release. In response, Illulian and First Liberty sent a letter to Beverly Hills Code Enforcement Attorney Steven Rosenblit and demanded the city withdraw the notice, arguing that it was a violation of his rights under constitutional law, according to the letter.

“It is chilling that Beverly Hills officials have resorted to surveilling a small group of Jewish residents who meet together for worship,” Elizabeth Kiernan of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who is also representing Illulian, said in the press release. “The law and constitution protect his right to host gatherings of family and friends to meet their spiritual needs.”

Illulian has hosted the Jewish celebration of Passover, which lasts over several days, and Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, as well as an Orthodox ministry called One Lev, according to the letter. The number of attendees was limited to what the “home can comfortably and safely accommodate” and Illulian asked visitors to park farther away in order to make sure they were not bothering neighbors or violating city ordinances regarding parking.

In February, a private citizen complained about noise and trash from the gatherings, but a city investigation found that the allegations were unfounded, according to the letter. After another complaint, a second investigation was launched in March using “stakeouts,” photographing and tallying individuals who came and went from the house, and allegedly “upon information and belief” the city used drones to surveil the house.


One thought on “City surveilled rabbi’s house for hosting religious gatherings”
  1. I am glad that Rabbi Illulian is standing his ground. Not only does he have the Constitution to back him up but in my opinion, he has the overwhelmingly vast majority of Americans standing with him.

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