Women of Wall Support Protests Planned Today

Rallies Planned in N.Y., S.F., and Chicago

Demonstrators supporting women’s right to pray gather at the Israeli embassy in Washington. Similar rallies are planned nationwide today.
nathan guttman
Demonstrators supporting women’s right to pray gather at the Israeli embassy in Washington. Similar rallies are planned nationwide today.

By Anne Cohen

Published March 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Supporters of the Women Of The Wall will gather in New York on Tuesday, March 12, supporting women’s right to pray freely at the Western Wall, or Kotel, in Jerusalem.

The New York event, expected to be the largest, is organized by New York’s Wake Up for Religious Tolerance!, and will take place at 9 a.m. on the north side of Union Square Park, rain or shine. If it rains, the location will change to the Town & Village Synagogue on 14th Street between Firsst and Second Avenue.

Similar events are expected to be held in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Cleveland, and Chicago.

Women of the Wall have held a service every month for Rosh Hodesh (the beginning of the new month) at the Kotel for the past 20 years. March 12, at 7 a.m. will mark the beginning of the month of Nissan.

The organization advocates for 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.

In October, Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, was arrested by Israeli police for leading a prayer service at the Western Wall, in violation with Israeli law. This arrest — a first, according to Hoffman — has galvanized Jewish liberal support, especially in the United States. In February, 10 women were arrested for wearing prayer shawls, including Rabbi Susan Silverman, comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister. Since then, things have calmed down. But according to the activists, that is no reason to back down.

“Despite the past few months’ quiet prayer services with no disruptions of the peace, the police have continuously detained women- seven or ten at a time- for the felony of wearing a Tallit (prayer shall). Against the police detentions and in support of Women of the Wall and the right to freedom of religion at the Western Wall, hundreds will be organizing solidarity rallies and prayer services all over the US,” stated a press release put out by Women of the Wall.

The press release added that clashes at the Western Wall between Haredim and Women of the Wall are expected, after posters calling for ultra-Orthodox opposition to come to the Kotel on Tuesday morning.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • 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.