JERUSALEM, MAY 9 — Women For The Wall, a grassroots womens’ group based in Jerusalem, calls upon all women to come to the Kotel for Rosh Chodesh, the new month, to stand for the traditions of Judaism as practiced for generations. Ronit Peskin, co-founder of W4W, explained, “Our grandparents, their great-grandparents, and generations before them made pilgrimages to he Wall to pray according to Jewish tradition. We are greatly pained that a small group of primarily American women are attempting to impose their unilateral changes to Jewish practice and tradition on the vast majority.” Leah Aharoni, another co-founder noted, “the Wall should be a place of unity, not division. By following our mutual Jewish tradition, we create a safe spiritual environment where all Jews can be welcome.”
In recent weeks, the group calling itself Women of the Wall have made an unprecedented push for changes in prayer at the Western Wall. Anat Hoffman, Chair of Women of the Wall and one of the leaders of the Reform movement in Israel Anat Hoffman, publicly called for replacing all prayer at the Western Wall with a “National Monument” for the bulk of each day. Peskin responded, “The Kotel is not a Jewish version of the Lincoln Memorial. It is the remnant of the Holy Temple. It is a Holy Site, linking us to traditions that reach thousands of years, and to a future of hope and peace.”
This Friday May 10th marks Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the new Jewish month of Sivan. Women For The Wall will gather at the Wall at 6:30 AM to say Tehillim, Psalms, for peace and invoke G-d’s blessings from above. Pliskin invites Anat Hoffman and her small group to join them. “We hope that Hoffman will abandon her plan to convert the Kotel in to a National Monument, that the Women of the Wall will stop trying to change us, and that we can join together in prayer as Jews have practiced for thousands of years.”
Women for the Wall is dedicated to ensuring that the Kotel can be a place for all Jews to come and pray with respect and dignity. It believes that only by preserving classical Jewish practice at the Wall can it be a place where all Jews can be welcome.