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Rabbi Gets Escorted From Arizona Council Meeting After Prayer Protest

Chino Valley seal
(Photo by Matthew Casey - KJZZ)
A Chino Valley seal sits near the entrance to the Town Hall.

Rabbi Adele Plotkin of Chino Valley was taken out of a town council meeting Tuesday night after she stood in protest against Mayor Chris Marley, who announced he was going to do an invocation in the name of Jesus. Marley promised a moment of silence for two meetings after a different rabbi complained in December, but he did not follow through.

"Under that false impression, I went because I thought I was going to be safe," she said.

Plotkin was escorted out after she told Marley she was uncomfortable and that he had promised differently. When asked if she thinks this will inspire change, she did not seem hopeful.

“This isn’t a majority vote issue, it’s a minority rights issue," she said.

Marley said following the meeting that he felt like he had to do the invocation despite what he had said previously because fellow council members said he should. He argued that he feels the country has lost other freedoms, but he refuses to let his right to pray be taken away.

Plotkin said she has received overwhelming support from people in and out of her Beit Torah congregation about the issue.

"People have even stopped me in the grocery store," she said.

As of now, the council voted to make no changes to their system. The mayor did not respond to requests for an interview.

Amanda Luberto was born in California but considers herself a native to the Valley of the Sun. She started as a producer at KJZZ in October 2017, but also interned in the newsroom as a student. She is a proud alumna of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.She has been interested in radio since starting school in 2013. She spent two years as the music director for ASU’s college station, Blaze Radio, and one year as station manager. She spent time as a music programming intern in Washington, D.C., at Sirius XM and as a tech broadcaster for Cronkite News on Arizona PBS. Luberto is dedicated and passionate about quality local storytelling and original content broadcasting.Luberto also spent years as the co-founder and chapter leader of Arizona State University’s chapter of I Am That Girl, an international women’s empowerment organization focused on the collaboration of women and building self-love. She believes in the strength of women supporting women.Her favorite podcast episode is This American Life’s “Fermi’s Paradox,” and she highly suggests you listen to it. Off air, you can find Luberto adding to her list of concerts attended, sipping at a local coffee shop or cheering on the Arizona Coyotes.