Chabad to Bureau of Prisons: Restore Jewish Books to Prison Libraries


Miami Beach, florida

September 23, 2007

Leaders of the Aleph Institute, a Chabad Lubavitch organization devoted to attending to the needs of Jewish prisoners, are pressuring the federal Bureau of Prisons to reverse its decision to purge the shelves of prison chapel libraries of all religious books and materials that are not on the bureau’s lists of approved resources, reported the New York Times.

Rabbi Aaron Lipskar, executive director of the Aleph Institute, said that the government officials tried to reassure them that a book could be restored to the library if a prisoner requested it, the chaplain vetted it from start to finish, the chaplain sent a certification form to the bureau in Washington, and the book made the updated approval list.
“I find it almost impossible that they can expect a prison chaplaincy department, which is already so strained, to take the time to review all these materials,” Rabbi Lipskar said. “No matter to what extent they try to fix this policy, it will never come out right.”

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