The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JOSH MENDELOWITZ

IN one jail cell sat 11 women rab­bis. In an­other cell, out of sight but within earshot, were eight male rab­bis. To­gether, the 19 rabbinic lead­ers filled one of New York’s crowded and un­kempt prison wings with words from the To­rah, the sound of Jewish mu­sic and even laugh­ter.

“We started singing songs for Tu Bish­vat and then the men joined in and it was sort of this mo­ment of hu­mour and levity in the midst of ev­ery­thing,” said Rabbi Lau­ren Herrmann, one of the rab­bis ar­rested.

She was de­tained along with the 18 other rab­bis af­ter protest­ing against the travel ban im­posed by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on na­tion­als from seven Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries.

The protest, which had been planned by T’ruah, a rab­bini­cal hu­man rights group, be­gan with around 200 peo­ple march­ing from the Up­per West Side of Man­hat­tan to Colum­bus Cir­cle, which is di­rectly op­po­site Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel.

It fea­tured singing and chant­ing and cul­mi­nated when the rab­bis sat in the road to block traf­fic, prompt­ing their ar­rest. “Jews have a part to play in healing our democ­racy,” said Rabbi Cred­i­tor, who flew in from Cal­i­for­nia for this event. “We were singing words of To­rah in a time of fear even though we are not the ones be­ing per­se­cuted. Well, not yet.”

The rab­bis were re­leased on Tues­day morn­ing.

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