Ten women, including comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister, were arrested in Jerusalem yesterday after participating in a Women of the Wall religious rights protest.
The women were detained by police for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall – an action which runs against the Orthodox rules that govern prayers at the site.
Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman and her 17-year-old daughter were taken to a police station when they refused to remove their shawls.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said the arrests were “deeply concerning.
“It is unthinkable that in 2013, Israel is still denying the religious freedom of Jews wishing to express their faith without fear of being detained.
"[The arrests] once again divide the Jewish community’s unity and drains energy away from crucial issues demanding our attention."
The women were not charged with criminal offences but have banned from returning to the wall for 15 days, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told the New York Times.
He said the women were detained “as a result of them wearing the garments that they’re not allowed to wear specifically at that site.”