The Lev Tahor religious group, a Jewish fundamentalist sect, is being looked into after accusations of child abuse, neglect and underage marriage have surfaced in Quebec. A man named Adam Brudzewsky spent two years living among the Lev Tahor in Quebec, and he is providing testimony that links the Jewish religious sect to the alleged crimes, sources report.
Brudzewsky has been described in various ways by reports as someone trying to expose the Lev Tahor for their abuse of children as well as a liar and mentally unstable. Members of the Lev Tahor fled Quebec and entered the Chatham area of Toronto, reports indicate. The Chatham-Kent child protective services have reportedly been keeping a close eye on the group. A judge had ordered 14 of the children to be placed in foster care in Quebec for at least a month.
This news comes after a search warrant was executed in Quebec. The Lev Tahor assembled and left in the middle of the night, according to reports, and headed to the Toronto area. Their spiritual leader was among the last remaining few to leave Quebec.
Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans had fiery words for authorities back in Quebec, according to the Toronto Sun. Helbrans accused judges, political leaders, police and child protective services in Quebec of being bigots and anti-sematic, at points even comparing their actions to those of prominent Nazi war criminals from the Holocaust. A video was reportedly released that showed Helbrans' outburst of anger with those in Quebec that had, in his mind, drove the Lev Tahor out of their community.
The Lev Tahor has sympathisers, too. A man in Toronto started a Facebook page dedicated to supporting them, and rallies have been planned after members of the Lev Tahor community gave their approval of it, the Canadian Jewish News reported. He contends that people misunderstand the Lev Tahor Jewish people and that are like everyone else and should be respected. The man, Dave Formosa, helped organize a rally on February 25. Formosa is not Jewish. February 25 is when the Lev Tahor lawyers will file a court appeal.
Coast to Coast AM reported that investigations of child abuse began in Quebec in 2012 and the National Post reported that an unsealed search warrant revealed that an underage girl may have been forced to marry an older man as well as other accounts of physical abuse within the community toward teenage girls. Reports also revealed that Helbrans had been charged in New York with kidnapping of a boy in an effort to convert him. It has also been reported that there are rumors of young girls being married as young as 13 years old in the Lev Tahor community.