JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the prison sentences for many of the mothers who defied a court order to return their daughters to an integrated Ashkenazi-Sephardi school.
The justices decided Tuesday to exempt 13 of the mothers from prison and to delay the sentences of nine others until their husbands complete their two-week prison sentences that began Thursday.
One of the mothers suffered a miscarriage on Monday. Hospital staff at the Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital told Ynet that they believe the woman’s emotional stress over the possibility of prison led to the miscarriage.
Thirty-five fathers entered a Jerusalem prison following demonstrations in Jerusalem and Bnai Brak that swelled to more than 100,000 people. Two other fathers on Tuesday were given until July 5 to begin their sentences.
The high court ruled last week that the mostly Ashkenazi haredi Orthodox parents who did not allow their daughters to attend a school with other Orthodox students who do not adhere to the same stringent tenants of the Slonim Chasidim would serve the prison sentences. The parents already have faced threats and fines levied by the court.
The court said the parents’ reason for segregating their daughters is racial; the parents say it is religious.