Yom Rivii, 12 AdarI 5781
Wednesday, 24 February 2021
Revealed: the inside story of the prison rabbis

The JC
March 27 2013

The extra lengths he [Rabi Michael Binstok] and his fellow chaplains go to to support genuinely Jewish inmates would be reason enough for any prisoner to try to join their congregation.

The chaplaincy is run under the auspices of the United Synagogue but is truly cross-communal — Rabbi Michael Binstock is Orthodox, Rabbi Shmuel Arkush is Lubavitch, Rabbi Cliff Cohen is Reform and Rabbi Rebecca Birk is Progressive. Each manages to achieve a remarkable level of Jewish tradition and observance among their prisoners.

Rabbi Birk has just held a Seder in Holloway women’s prison, as she does every year. “We have a shortened Haggadah and I bring in food and we do it during the day. It’s truly extraordinary doing a Seder about freedom behind the bars of a prison.”  Read more