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.
Women were wearing prayer shawls in violation of Wall regulations, police say.
(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.
Jewish Agency tasked with studying demands of women who want right to pray at holy site.
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.
Wall is a symbol of connection with Israel for "each and every Jew," Jewish Agency head writes.
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.
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.
Jerusalem police arrested and detained four women for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall.
The women, members of Women of the Wall, were arrested Sunday during morning prayers, which included special prayers for the new Hebrew month of Elul.
Women of the Wall holds a special prayer service at the Western Wall each month for Rosh Chodesh, or the beginning of new month. The group has met once a month at the back of the women's section at the Western Wall for the last 20 years.