86-year-old rabbi arrested for blocking ICE office in Philadelphia

Arthur Waskow, a longtime political activist, and Rabbi Phyllis Berman were among four senior citizens arrested Wednesday by federal agents during the protest.

By SAM SOKOL/JTA
September 6, 2019 05:43
1 minute read.
86-year-old rabbi arrested for blocking ICE office in Philadelphia

People hold signs 'Families against ICE' at immigration protest. (photo credit: OMRI NAHMIAS)



(JTA) — An 86-year-old rabbi and his rabbi wife were arrested after blocking the entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s building in Philadelphia to protest the the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children.

Arthur Waskow, a longtime political activist, and Rabbi Phyllis Berman were among four senior citizens arrested Wednesday by federal agents during the protest organized by a group calling itself ElderWitness and Friends. The couple also were fined.



Last summer, Waskow was detained at the same location during a similar demonstration.



Waskow told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he saw his arrest as “connected with a major wave of Jewish protests, including arrests, that swept across the country on or about Tisha b’Av in August,” adding that he believed it was “the first such event in American Jewish history, when a large segment of the Jewish community publicly and vigorously opposed a major policy priority of the U.S. government.”



This summer saw a wave of Jewish protests across the United States against U.S. immigration policy.


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