Black is the new orange: Meet the rabbis of Canadian Jewish jail communities

ByELI MANDELBAUM
August 19, 2014 09:31

Chabad rabbis in Quebec look out for Jewish prisoners both while they are serving their sentences and after they are released.




Prison rabbi

Prison rabbi.. (photo credit:ELI MANDELBAUM)





One doesn't usually associate Chabad with prison, but alongside a host of other roles in the Jewish community, rabbis in the Canadian city of Quebec have taken it upon themselves to visit and care for Jewish inmates in the province.


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Not only do the rabbis look out for the Jewish prisoners while they are serving their sentences, but they also provide them with a sense of community, food, a bed and structure after they are released, to help keep them on the right track and prevent them from returning to jail. 


"I got four rabbis that I can call my personal friends," says Martin, who was released after forty years in prison. He remarks that the rabbi of federal and provincial prisoners in Quebec, Zushe Silberstein, inducted him as an extension of the rabbi's family. Martin added that he is glad to be at a Jewish "halfway house."

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