Western Wall

Women's Right To Say Kaddish In Question At Kotel

Confronted by Sharansky, rabbi says arrests won't happen -- but police say rabbi has no authority.

04/05/2013
Staff Writer

Women who want to say the Mourner’s Kaddish at the Western Wall were threatened with arrest in a recent letter from the Israeli police to a women’s rights group, but both Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who runs the government body that oversees holy sites like the wall, say it will not happen.

In February, 10 women were arrested after morning prayers at the Western Wall. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Oddly Peaceful Prayers

Joined by female MKs and supported by celebrities, Women of the Wall crosses a ‘tipping point.’ Is Barbra next?

03/12/2013
Israel Correspondent

On Tuesday, Rosh Hodesh Nissan, members of the group Women of the Wall and their supporters gathered, as they do at the start of every Jewish month, at the back of the Western Wall’s women’s section.

For the first time in almost 2 years, Israeli police did not detain Women of the Wall participants. Michele Chabin

The Wall For All

02/15/2013

President Obama is now set to visit Israel in March. I’m sure he has a busy itinerary filled with many important meetings with many important people. Yet, in my dreams, I like to imagine that he would have an opportunity to sit down with a particularly important person: Anat Hoffman, of the Israel Religious Action Center, and chairwoman of Women of the Wall.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

UPDATE: Ten Women Detained At Western Wall

Women were wearing prayer shawls in violation of Wall regulations, police say.

02/11/2013
Staff Writer

(Adds comment from detained female rabbi, further comment from Jewish Agency)

Ten women were detained at the Western Wall on Monday, the highest number held at one time amid a spate of similar incidents in recent months, according to a press release from Women of the Wall, a Jerusalem-based group that has been agitating for more than 20 years for the right of women to pray audibly as a group at the Wall.

Ten women were arrested Monday for praying at the Wall in prayer shawls. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall by Michal Fattal

The Diaspora's Frustration With Israel: A Good Thing

American Jews absolutely love to speak and behave as though what we think should have immediate practical and political bearing in Israel.

Women of the Wall, which agitates for prayer rights at the Kotel, has much American support. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Let's Disagree, But Not Dismiss

The end of 2012 saw an increase in arrests of women at the Western Wall who demand the right to pray there in groups, out loud and wearing prayer shawls and tefilin.

Visitors to the Western Wall leave written prayers as well. Getty Images

Will Western Wall Be ‘Source Of Unity?’

Jewish Agency tasked with studying demands of women who want right to pray at holy site.

12/26/2012
Staff Writer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and chairman of the Jewish Agency, to study the issue of women’s prayer at the Western Wall and to help the government turn the wall into a “source of Jewish unity, rather than division,” an agency spokesman told the Jewish Week.

Letter: Sharansky Protests Restrictions At Western Wall

Wall is a symbol of connection with Israel for "each and every Jew," Jewish Agency head writes.

11/12/2012
Staff Writer

Pressure mounted on Israel this week to consider relaxing the restrictions governing prayer and behavior in place at the Western Wall, with the head of the Jewish Agency writing a letter to the government that expressed “deep concern” about policies at Judaism’s holiest site.

The Western Wall: a contested site. Getty Images

Reform Leaders Call For Israeli Police Probe Of Anat Hoffman Arrest

10/21/2012

 Reform Jewish leaders are calling for an investigation following reports that an Israeli colleague was roughed up by police after leading a women’s prayer group at the Western Wall.

Reform leaders in the United States said Thursday that they have spoken with Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, about the incident involving Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center and chair of the Women of the Wall.

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