Sarah Silverman’s Sister Detained By Israel During Demonstration

Comic Sarah Silverman’s sister was among a group of women detained by Israel on Monday.

Ten women were arrested during a demonstration at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, considered to be Judaism’s holiest site. The group was taken into custody for violating a ban the prevents females from singing loudly, reading a Torah scroll, or wearing traditional prayer-shawls at the location.

According to The Daily News, Sarah Silverman’s sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, was among the group of women detained for several hours before being released. All were members of Women of the Wall, a group that meets monthly in demonstration against what they feel is “ultra-orthodox control of the Western Wall shrine.”

Rabbi Silverman’s 17-year old daughter, Hallel Silverman, was also among the women detained. The teenager was participating in the demonstration for the first time. She spoke about her feelings surrounding the incident:

“I was proud to take a stand for something I believe in. There is inequality at the Western Wall. The space allowed for women is becoming smaller and smaller. If the law is changed, I will be proud to have played a small part. … The rules are outdated. It’s 2013 and we’ve moved on. It’s time the law moved on too.”


Voicing her pride through Twitter, Sarah Silverman sent out an encouraging tweet praising her “amazing sister and niece” for their “civil disobedience.”

The Associated Press reports that the Women of the Wall have been meeting at the holy site for a quarter century. Although no female has ever been formally charged with a crime, members of the group have recently seen an increase in police intervention.

In addition to Sarah Silverman’s sister and niece, Monday’s arrests in Jerusalem also included a pregnant Israeli rabbinical student, Rabbi Debra Cantor of Connecticut, and Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin of New York.