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Activist Rabbi Goes to Jail Rather than Pay Protest Fine

March 11, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An activist rabbi who refused to pay a $100 fine after being convicted of demonstrating too close to the Soviet embassy reported to jail Wednesday to serve a two-day term, his lawyer said.

Avi Weiss, senior rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, N.Y., was escorted to the District of Columbia jail by a corrections official, said attorney Barry Boss.

Earlier Wednesday, Weiss appeared before Superior Court Judge Robert Shuker and told him he would not pay the fine because ″I don’t believe I’m guilty.″

″The sentence will be executed,″ Shuker replied. ″It’s two days in jail.″

On Monday, Shuker sentenced Weiss to pay the fine and serve a year of unsupervised probation for demonstrating too close to the embassy last March 26. Weiss said he was praying on behalf of Soviet Jews. Shuker also gave Weiss a two-day suspended jail sentence, but let him take two days to reconsider and pay the fine.

Weiss plans to appeal the conviction, Boss said, ″But that obviously will not have an effect on the sentence, which he will already have served.″

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