Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rabbis for the Women of the Wall

I took the liberty to sign on to this worthy effort, when it went public yesterday. Here is the press release.


The attached statement signed by twenty-eight prominent rabbis has been sent to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Rubi Rivlin, opposition leader and Head of the Israeli Kadima Party Tzipi Livni, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, and Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz Shlita.

With the issuing of this statement, we, Orthodox, Conservative (Masorti), Reform (Progressive), Reconstructionist and Renewal Rabbis-whose brief bios are attached-have launched a new social justice movement called Rabbis for Women of the Wall, a trans-denominational campaign to support the rights of women to lead worship, wear a prayer shawl, carry a Torah scroll and read from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a holy site that carries great symbolic significance for Jews everywhere.

All rabbis everywhere are invited to become Rabbis for Women of the Wall by signing the statement for delivery to Israeli officials. Jewish congregations, federations, JCRC's, JCC's and other institutions are invited to become Organizations for Women of the Wall by endorsing the same statement to Israeli officials. Individuals-including both women and men-are also invited to sign a differently worded statement to the same Israeli officials. To sign on, go to TAKE A STAND on the Women of the Wall website

"The launch of Rabbis for Women of the Wall is a defining moment that far surpasses Jewish denominational distinctions," says Rabbis for WOW Co-Chair Rabbi Menachem Creditor. "The status of the Jewish People in Israel, and therefore the world, is at stake, and we, the rabbinic community of North America, have an important voice."

"Yes, there are unique ideological commitments that lead to spirited encounter when we come together," says Co-Chair Rabbi Pamela Frydman. "But the blessing is in coming together. With the increasing marginalization of non-Charedi (non-ultra-Orthodox) Judaism in Israel, every facet of our people, including Charedim, is in danger. When we segregate our schools, fund intolerance, and arrest women for holding a Torah or reading from it, we are in need of healing."

"We are the rabbis of North American Jewry, and we are here to lead and support every part of the Jewish People." Continues Rabbi Creditor. "When a part is attacked, we all feel the pain. This is a painful moment, and it is our time to speak."

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