Sisterhood Blog

Power of the Purse Needed to Change Kotel Policy?

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Women of the Wall

Anat Hoffman’s arrest at the Kotel and alleged rough treatment by Jerusalem police, on October 16, sparked immediate strong reaction among American Jews, though not from every group expected.

Many of those outraged by her arrest — for “disturbing the public order” at Judaism’s holiest site for wearing a tallit and leading other women in prayer — said it should serve as a wake-up call to Diaspora Jews complacent about the treatment of women at a site holy to all Jews. It is treated as an ultra-Orthodox synagogue by those who run it and so does not permit non-Orthodox women to pray at the Kotel in a way that conforms to their own religious practice.

Dan Brown, creator of eJewishPhilanthropy, wrote that Hoffman’s arrest was “a tectonic event” that we will look back on years hence and recognize as “the tipping point on conversations” about “the nature of a democratic society here in Israel.”

In an emphatic article on his site, he excoriated political and organizational Jewish leaders for remaining silent on the issue, and said that “the silence needs to stop.”

Jewish organizations, which can wield impressive influence on the government of Israel when they choose to, have not said what they are willing to do to pressure Israeli officials to change current policies at the Kotel.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sisterhood, ejewishphilanthropy, dan brown, anat hoffman kotel




Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.