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Police remove academic from Berlin shul after community blacklists her

TJI Pick
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Published: 26 July 2019

Last updated: 4 March 2024

US-Israeli professor Shani Tzoref was forcibly removed after she wrote an article objecting to the liberal synagogue's gender segregation

A US-ISRAELI PROFESSOR has spoken of her fear and humiliation after she was physically restrained by police at a German synagogue that had just informed her she was blacklisted.

Shani Tzoref’s forcible removal last Saturday was the culmination of her long-running dispute with the Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue in Berlin, to whose gender segregation practices she strongly objects.

The synagogue said it had “no other choice” but to ban her.

Ms Tzoref said she arrived at the synagogue for morning services last Shabbat, July 20, and was informed by security that its rabbi, Jonah Sievers, had banned her from attending.

Told she must leave, Ms Tzoref nonetheless followed worshippers into a courtyard located in front of the main sanctuary, where she prayed and sang in protest at her exclusion.

Police arrived at 10.05am and made physical attempts to remove her from the synagogue grounds.

FULL STORY Academic restrained by police inside Berlin synagogue on Shabbat after community blacklists her (Jewish Chronicle)

Photo: The Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue in West Berlin is described as liberal, but men and women are told to sit separately

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