Rivka Haut, considered by many to be the leading grassroots advocate for agunot, or chained women, and a founder of Women at the Wall and the Women’s Tefillah Network, died March 30 of cancer in New York. She was 71.
In the U.S., 2013 was the year of Women of the Wall — and the organization’s 25th anniversary, to boot. The group advocates for the right of women to pray collectively and audibly at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites. Founded in 1988, WOW’s main tactic for two decades has been civil disobedience: the gathering of its members to celebrate each new month by holding a liturgically traditional service at the Wall. Over the years, the women have been negotiated with, reviled and harassed, most often by members of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox minority, which finds their presence offensive.
The site picked six men and four women, all but three U.S.-based, for the inaugural honor out of more than 150 nominees sent by "students, congregants, community members and families all over the world," Jewrotica said.
Feminist prayer group activists celebrate an anniversary with dissension in the ranks despite, or because of, Kotel deal.
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Jerusalem — Women of the Wall’s 25th anniversary prayer service this week at the Kotel was a model of sisterly unity.
For a few hours, anyway.
Although some members of the group are deeply upset about its board’s conditional acceptance of a governmental proposal that would result in WOW praying in a third, as-yet-to-be built egalitarian prayer space close to — but not at — the existing Western Wall plaza, the opposing factions of WOW managed to put aside their differences during the duration of the anniversary event.
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