Press Releases

After Lawsuit Threat, Beverly Hills Officials Drop Sanctions Against Small Jewish Prayer Meetings

December 4, 2023

News Release
For Immediate Release: 12.4.23
Contact: John Manning,
Direct: 972-941-4453

After Lawsuit Threat, Beverly Hills Officials Drop Sanctions Against Small Jewish Prayer Meetings

Law firms sent two letters urging city to withdrawal threats of criminal punishment, stop harassing Jewish families.


Beverly Hills, CA—First Liberty Institute and the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced that Beverly Hills, CA city officials have withdrawn their “Notice of Violation” against Rabbi Levi Illulian.  The notices threatened the Rabbi with civil and criminal proceedings for hosting religious gatherings in his home to meet the religious needs of his family, neighbors, and friends.  Attorneys sent two letters to the city in recent months urging officials to withdraw the notices and to cease surveilling the Rabbi’s home.

Elizabeth Kiernan of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said, “We are grateful that the city recognizes that Rabbi Illulian has a constitutional right to engage in religious exercise at his home with family or friends, free from government burden and interference.”

“In light of what is happening to the Jewish community around the world, we need to be vigilant in protecting their religious liberty rights and safety here in the United States,” said Ryan Gardner, Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “First Liberty is here to do just that.”

City officials have been investigating Rabbi Illulian’s religious exercise since March using increasingly invasive means, including surveilling individuals and cars coming and going from the home and flying a drone over the home.  They issued a “Notice of Violation” prohibiting all religious activity at the home with non-residents in June.

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About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.
To arrange an interview, contact John Manning at or by calling Direct: 972-941-4453.

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