A progressive rabbinical group led a protest against President Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from majority-Muslim countries last night, with some demonstrators committing civil disobedience by blocking traffic on Central Park West outside Trump International Hotel and Tower. 20 people were arrested at approximately 10:30 p.m., according to an NYPD spokesperson who said most were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic.
— T'ruah (@truahrabbis) February 7, 2017
— Gili Getz (@giligetz) February 7, 2017
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) February 7, 2017
Approximately 200 protesters participated in the protest march, which started north of the hotel on 88th Street and Broadway. "I’m putting my body on the line tonight because we’re obligated as Jews to stand with people seeking safety and seeking home,” Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, said in a statement.
"I’m risking arrest today because America welcomed my own immigrant family to its shores, as it did millions of families before us who fled persecution,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City. “We’re repeating the tragedy of the St. Louis, the ship carrying 908 Jewish refugees that America turned away in 1939, sending them back to Europe where many were murdered."
Protesters wore prayer shawls and blew shofars outside Trump's hotel, chanting, "No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here," and holding signs reading “My people were refugees too” and “another rabbi standing for justice," JTA reports.
— Barat Ellman (@BaratEllman) February 7, 2017
Home after an extraordinary night of singing, praying, and sharing Torah with 18 of the rabbis w/whom I most want to share a cell.
— Jill Jacobs (@rabbijilljacobs) February 7, 2017
Last week, a small group of Hasidic Jews in Borough Park gathered at a Yemeni-American owned deli in their neighborhood to show their opposition to Trump's executive order, posting notes of solidarity on the exterior of the store. "I made a point of walking in there today — I actually live a mile away,” Alex Rapaport, the executive director of the kosher Masbia soup kitchen network, told JTA. "I just learned that they were Yemenite, and I was looking to do something in solidarity with the people affected by the executive order."
Here is a roundup of demonstrations, organizing actions, and fundraisers against Trump this week.