Reform rabbis support women at the Wall

Reform rabbis have resolved to protest attacks on religious freedom in 2010 by supporting women who seek to worship equally with men in Jerusalem and Muslims who want to build minarets in Switzerland.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing about 1,800 Reform Jewish clergy in North America, issued a statement Dec. 30 against the treatment of Israeli feminist Nofrat Frankel, who was arrested in November after violating a law against women wearing traditional male prayer shawls and reading the Torah at the Western Wall.

Frankel, a medical student, and other "Women of the Wall" activists argue the holy site should not be operated like an Orthodox synagogue -- with strict gender segregation and restrictions on how women may pray -- because it belongs to all Jews.

On Jan. 10, Women of the Wall supporters plan to hold a 10 a.m. service in San Francisco's Union Square and other cities. Female worshippers may wear male vestments to demonstrate how some modern women prefer to pray. A similar day of solidarity was organized last month by the Women's Rabbinic Network, a partner of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Don't miss a thing! Get NCR's free newsletter.

In its parallel condemnation of the recent Swiss vote to ban new minarets, the rabbis noted that European Jews once endured similar discrimination during the Holocaust.

"We have been shocked by attacks on religious liberty in both Switzerland and our own Jewish State of Israel," the group's statement reads. "As we approach the secular new year, we hope that 2010 will see no further erosions of religious freedom but will be a year of liberty for men and women of all religions everywhere."

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017