[Hpn] Re: My friends at Camp Paradise: Letter from Rabbi Chayim Levin

Michael Schmidt mikeceo@sasquatch.com
Wed, 27 Jun 2001 10:46:30 -0700


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Good letter.  Michael
  ----- Original Message -----=20
  From: Becky Johnson=20
  To: Ed Porter ; Scott Kennedy ; Tim Fitzmaurice ; Emily Reilly ; Mark =
Primack ; Keith Sugar ; Christopher Krohn=20
  Cc: Andrea Perkins, Metro Santa Cruz ; Bruce Bratton, Metro Santa Cruz =
; Camp Paradise ; City on a Hill Press ; Connections ; HOMELESS PEOPLE'S =
NETWORK list ; Homes Not Jails DC ; Jay Olsen, Mid-County Post ; =
Kensington Welfare Rights Union ; Mike Herald ; National Coalition for =
the Homeless ; National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty ; Sarah =
Phelan ; chance martin ; Dan White, Santa Cruz Sentinel ; Darrell Cole, =
Santa Cruz Sentinel ; Ken McLaughlin, Mercury News ; Santa Barbara News =
Press ; Terry Messman=20
  Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2001 2:59 AM
  Subject: My friends at Camp Paradise: Letter from Rabbi Chayim Levin


  Forward from Rabbi Chayim Levin:
  =20
  Dear Members of the Santa Cruz City Council,
  =20
  Unfortunately I wasn't able to share my feelings with you concerning =
the folks at Camp Paradise at Tuesday's council meeting.  I understand =
the rules of the Council are designed so that certain people should not =
be allowed to monopolize the public comment period.  I am truly not a =
media hound. I don't run after the television cameras or members of the =
press.  None-the-less, Jewish law requires that one must do whatever =
they can to save a human life. =20
  =20
  I have become very, very familiar with the folks down at Camp =
Paradise.  I spend hours every day with them.  As you know, I am not a =
political activist.  And I don't intend to use these people (or any =
people) for a political movement.  I have prayed with them.  Laughed and =
cried with them.  And more than once have broken bread with these =
wonderful people.  I have come to know Larry Templeton not as Rabbi with =
a congregant or a counselor giving out advice, but as a loving and dear =
friend.  I would hope that all of us could have that type of =
relationship with each other.  Certainly our lives would be better for =
it.
  =20
  Its a strange predicament we are all in.  I also don't want to see =
people sleeping out in the woods. This is not the lifestyle I was taught =
by my parents, or that I teach to my children.  We are all between a =
rock and a hard place.  But what can we do with these people?  If back =
on the street, I see their lives reverting back to a self-destructive =
mode of drugs and alcohol.  This is not a political question.  This is a =
question of love and kindness.  I urge you, before making any final =
decision, to put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourselves "What =
would I do under this situation?" knowing that every door has been shut =
and slammed in your face.
  =20
  The shelters are filled. The armory is closed.  What are we going to =
do with these people? Where are we going to send them?  This is not the =
first time a homeless camp has come together in the woods.  Dispersing =
Larry and the people of Camp Paradise will only drive them out of sight. =
 But my heart has been touched by Camp Paradise.  It they are dispersed, =
there will always be a place in my heart for them.=20
  =20
  If I can be of any help, Jewish law requires me to step forward.
  =20
  =20
  Sincerely yours,
  =20
  Rabbi Chayim Levin
  =20
  levinchayim@hotmail.com=20
  or 429-8529
  =20

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<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Good letter.&nbsp; Michael</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE=20
style=3D"BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: =
0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
  <DIV=20
  style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: =
black"><B>From:</B>=20
  <A href=3D"mailto:wmnofstl@cruzio.com" =
title=3Dwmnofstl@cruzio.com>Becky=20
  Johnson</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>To:</B> <A =
href=3D"mailto:EdPorter2000@aol.com"=20
  title=3DEdPorter2000@aol.com>Ed Porter</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:kenncruz@pacbell.net" =
title=3Dkenncruz@pacbell.net>Scott=20
  Kennedy</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:tfitzmaurice@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us"=20
  title=3Dtfitzmaurice@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us>Tim Fitzmaurice</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:ereilly@cruzio.com" title=3Dereilly@cruzio.com>Emily =
Reilly</A> ;=20
  <A href=3D"mailto:mprimack@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us"=20
  title=3Dmprimack@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us>Mark Primack</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:ksugar@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us"=20
  title=3Dksugar@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us>Keith Sugar</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:ckrohn@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us"=20
  title=3Dckrohn@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us>Christopher Krohn</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Cc:</B> <A =
href=3D"mailto:aperkins@metcruz.com"=20
  title=3Daperkins@metcruz.com>Andrea Perkins, Metro Santa Cruz</A> ; <A =

  href=3D"mailto:bratton@cruzio.com" title=3Dbratton@cruzio.com>Bruce =
Bratton, Metro=20
  Santa Cruz</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:campparadise@hotmail.com"=20
  title=3Dcampparadise@hotmail.com>Camp Paradise</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:nicky@cats.ucsc.edu" title=3Dnicky@cats.ucsc.edu>City =
on a Hill=20
  Press</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:editor@theconnect.com"=20
  title=3Deditor@theconnect.com>Connections</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:HPN@lists.is.asu.edu" =
title=3DHPN@lists.is.asu.edu>HOMELESS=20
  PEOPLE'S NETWORK list</A> ; <A =
href=3D"mailto:hnj-dc@homesnotjails.org"=20
  title=3Dhnj-dc@homesnotjails.org>Homes Not Jails DC</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:mcpost@mcpost.com" title=3Dmcpost@mcpost.com>Jay Olsen, =
Mid-County=20
  Post</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:kwru@libertynet.org"=20
  title=3Dkwru@libertynet.org>Kensington Welfare Rights Union</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:mikeherald@aol.com" title=3Dmikeherald@aol.com>Mike =
Herald</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:NCH@ari.net" title=3DNCH@ari.net>National Coalition for =
the=20
  Homeless</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:info@NLCHP.org" =
title=3Dinfo@NLCHP.org>National=20
  Law Center on Homelessness &amp; Poverty</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:sphelan@metcruz.com" title=3Dsphelan@metcruz.com>Sarah =
Phelan</A> ;=20
  <A href=3D"mailto:streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org"=20
  title=3Dstreetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org>chance martin</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:dwhite@santa-cruz.com" =
title=3Ddwhite@santa-cruz.com>Dan White,=20
  Santa Cruz Sentinel</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:dcole@santa-cruz.com"=20
  title=3Ddcole@santa-cruz.com>Darrell Cole, Santa Cruz Sentinel</A> ; =
<A=20
  href=3D"mailto:kmclaughlin@sjmercury.com" =
title=3Dkmclaughlin@sjmercury.com>Ken=20
  McLaughlin, Mercury News</A> ; <A href=3D"mailto:rparks@newspress.com" =

  title=3Drparks@newspress.com>Santa Barbara News Press</A> ; <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:spirit@afsc.org" title=3Dspirit@afsc.org>Terry =
Messman</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Sent:</B> Wednesday, June 27, 2001 =
2:59=20
  AM</DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Subject:</B> My friends at Camp =
Paradise:=20
  Letter from Rabbi Chayim Levin</DIV>
  <DIV><BR></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Forward from Rabbi Chayim =
Levin:</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Dear Members of the Santa Cruz =
City=20
  Council,</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Unfortunately I wasn't able to =
share my=20
  feelings with you concerning the folks at Camp Paradise at Tuesday's =
council=20
  meeting.&nbsp; I understand the rules of the Council are designed so =
that=20
  certain people should not be allowed to monopolize the public comment=20
  period.&nbsp; I am truly not a media hound. I don't run after the =
television=20
  cameras or members of the press.&nbsp; None-the-less, Jewish law =
requires that=20
  one must do whatever they can to save a human life.&nbsp; =
</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>I have become very, very familiar =
with the=20
  folks down at Camp Paradise.&nbsp; I spend hours every day with =
them.&nbsp; As=20
  you know, I am not a political activist.&nbsp; And I don't intend to =
use these=20
  people (or any people) for a political movement.&nbsp; I have prayed =
with=20
  them.&nbsp; Laughed and cried with them.&nbsp; And more than once have =
broken=20
  bread with these wonderful people.&nbsp; I have come to know Larry =
Templeton=20
  not as Rabbi with a congregant or a counselor giving out advice, but =
as a=20
  loving and dear friend.&nbsp; I would hope that all of us could have =
that type=20
  of relationship with each other.&nbsp; Certainly our lives would be =
better for=20
  it.</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Its a strange predicament we are =
all in.&nbsp;=20
  I also don't want to see people sleeping out in the woods. This is not =
the=20
  lifestyle I was taught by my parents, or that I teach to my =
children.&nbsp; We=20
  are all between a rock and a hard place.&nbsp; But what can we do with =
these=20
  people?&nbsp; If back on the street, I see their lives reverting back =
to a=20
  self-destructive mode of drugs and alcohol.&nbsp; This is not a =
political=20
  question.&nbsp; This is a question of love and kindness.&nbsp; I urge =
you,=20
  before making any final decision, to put yourselves in their shoes and =
ask=20
  yourselves "What would I do under this situation?" knowing that every =
door has=20
  been shut and slammed in your face.</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>The shelters are filled. The =
armory is=20
  closed.&nbsp; What are we going to do with these people? Where are we =
going to=20
  send them?&nbsp; This is not the first time a homeless camp has come =
together=20
  in the woods.&nbsp; Dispersing Larry and the people of Camp Paradise =
will only=20
  drive them out of sight.&nbsp; But my heart has been touched by Camp=20
  Paradise.&nbsp; It they are dispersed, there will always be a place in =
my=20
  heart for them. </FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>If I can be of any help, Jewish =
law requires=20
  me to step forward.</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Sincerely yours,</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Rabbi Chayim Levin</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2><A=20
  href=3D"mailto:levinchayim@hotmail.com">levinchayim@hotmail.com</A>=20
</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>or 429-8529</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 =
size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>

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