Crunch time as judge denies prisoner's matzah request

By Jennifer Lipman, August 11, 2011

A judge in New York has ruled that a Jewish prisoner does not deserve a weekly portion of matzah.

Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that Christopher Henry's request was not wrongfully denied.

The inmate of Rikers Island jail, who is serving a sentence for sodomy, had demanded grape juice and unleavened bread. But he asked for it to be provided every Friday, not merely over Pesach.

He claimed he had a constitutional right and asked for more than £6 million in damages.

Judge Scheindlin said the denial did not violate his religious freedom.

She ruled: "Providing individualised meals to a single inmate might well foster an impression of favoritism, which could lead to jealousy and resentment among the inmate population."

Henry already receives kosher meals in prison.

Last updated: 5:11pm, August 11 2011