Monday, March 3, 2014
Over 150 women pray with Women of the Wall for Rosh Hodesh Adar II
Anat Hoffman on the Conflict in Negotiations with the Government and the Hypocrisy of ultra-Orthodox Leadership
This morning over 150 women gathered for a joyous and celebratory prayer service for the start of the Jewish month of Adar II at the Western Wall.
For the first time, Women of the Wall were joined by the board of WIZO Jerusalem, headed by Chair Ariela Persky, who was honored with the first blessing during the Torah service. This evening, Anat Hoffman will receive an award from WIZO Jerusalem for “leading the struggle for women’s equality and religious freedom” (18:00 at the Jerusalem Cinemateque). The prize is awarded each year to two trailblazing women, for International Women’s Day on March 8th.
Anat Hoffman, Women of the Wall Chair, commented this morning on the hypocrisy of ultra-Orthodox leadership at the mass protest yesterday against the mandatory army draft bill: “Before the protest and throughout it, Members of Knesset Moshe Gafni and Meir Porush claimed that it would be unheard of for the State of Israel to arrest a man because of his beliefs. The very same MKs and their flocks were amongst those who celebrated when police arrested and detained women in tallitot at the Kotel, for months on end.”
In response to the latest reports of the outsourcing of the southern area of the Western Wall to the Ir David Foundation- Elad, Hoffman sent a letter to Cabinet Secretary, Avichai Mendelblit on behalf of Women of the Wall. She wrote, “We have paid a high personal and organizational price for even our willingness to negotiate with the government over moving our prayer out of the women’s section- to a third section- and we in no way see a possibility to continue without this deal being removed from the table. We do not intend to be subject to the whim of various interested parties.”
On Friday, March 7th, leaders of Women of the Wall will gather in Tel Aviv at the entrance to The Carmel Shuk. “In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to give women in Tel Aviv the opportunity to put on prayer shawls, tallitot, and say the blessing. For many of them this will be the first time in their lives to do so and that is very emotional and exciting. It is important to us to show the public all that we have achieved thus far, but also all of the goals that are still before us,” said Hoffman.
For twenty-five years Women of the Wall has struggled for religious freedom and women’s rights at the Western Wall. As Women of the Wall, our central mission is to achieve the social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall.
Press Contact: Shira Pruce, Director of Public Relations +972 (0)546898351 [email protected]