SOURCE: Lev Leytzan: The Compassionate Clown Alley, Inc.

Lev Leytzan: The Compassionate Clown Alley, Inc.

December 01, 2009 13:39 ET

Healing Through Laughter: Lev Leytzan: The Compassionate Clown Alley Heads to Bucharest and Israel

WOODMERE, NY--(Marketwire - December 1, 2009) - The young adult clowns of the Long Island-based charity Lev Leytzan: The Compassionate Clown Alley, Inc. will embark on an 11-day humanitarian mission to Bucharest and Israel on December 7, 2009.

The Chanukah trip to the Romanian capital and Israel is organized under the auspices of Lev Leytzan's Ambassador Program, the international outreach arm of the organization. Beth Friedlander, program director, chose Bucharest for the mission because of the dire circumstances of the Jewish community there. The Jewish population of approximately 6,000 in the region is aging, largely isolated, and impoverished.

"The activities of Lev Leytzan seemed a perfect fit for these lonely, disadvantaged, and needy people in Romania," Ms. Friedlander remarked. "Bringing tangible items -- socks, gloves, and hats in winter -- is a great way to address an immediate hardship."

The Israel leg of the trip is a continuation of the group's annual Chanukah in Israel outreach program. The clowns will entertain the sick and needy throughout the country, especially children, and bring gifts to those who might not otherwise receive any.

Lev Leytzan is a Hebrew expression that translates to "Heart of a Clown." The troupe visits Israel annually during Chanukah, partnering with the Ossie Schonfeld Memorial Toy Fund to bring joy to hundreds of children of all religions. Lev Leytzan, a therapeutic clowning troupe, brings clowns to the most unlikely places: hospital rooms, nursing homes. While in Israel, the troupe will work with Chayeinu, visit Hadassah Hospital, Shaare Tzedek, Alyn Children's Hospital and the Tel Hashomer Medical Center.

Lev Leytzan recruits and intensively trains local high school students and adults in the arts of clowning, improvisation, and active listening. Throughout the six-month training period the youths also learn about the psychological and emotional effects of therapeutic clowning on both the patients and the clowns themselves before joining the troupe. More than 180 teens and adults have participated in the program in the organization's short history.

"After the success we had in Munich and Budapest last year, I couldn't wait to find out where we'd be going next," said a long-time Ambassador, Moshe Marton. "It's hard to be away during Chanukah, but I know it's worth it. There's nothing like seeing the joy on the faces of the people we touch."

Founded in 2004 by Dr. Neal C. Goldberg, The Compassionate Clown Alley-Lev Leytzan has been training teens and young adults in the art of medical clowning and spreading joy and laughter to thousands of children and elderly in the New York area, in Israel and other countries. Dr. Goldberg, a child and adolescent psychologist, provides his clowns with opportunities to gain self-confidence and compassion at a young age through their abilities to entertain and cheer the sick and elderly. Goldberg and his family live in Woodmere, NY.

Contact Information