WORLD NEWS
Kicked off plane for refusing to put tallit on floor

AN Orthodox Jewish couple are suing American Airlines after being kicked off a flight because they refused to place a tefillin and tallit bag on the floor of the plane.

Roberto and Elana Birman were heading home to New York from Miami when the “humiliating” incident unfolded, they told The New York Post this week.

“My clients were ejected from the flight based on the prejudices and complete lack of sensitivity of airline employees for reasons wholly unrelated to security,” said their lawyer, Brad Gerstman.

“The flight attendant and pilot’s conduct was as offensive as it was illogical.”

Roberto, 76, and Elana, 71, took only a briefcase, a purse and his tallit bag — an 8.5in x 8.5in clear plastic carrier for Roberto’s prayer book and tallit — onboard.

They sat in aisle seats across from each other on the flight in August.

A flight attendant began checking overhead bins before take-off, pulled the tallit bag from the overhead bin, asked whose it was, and gave it back to Roberto, saying he had to place it under the seat.

Roberto refused to place it on the floor.

The Birmans were then forced off the airplane, without Roberto’s diabetes medication and without any help from the airline for food and lodging, they said.

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