|November 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women of the Wall and American supporters to pray with Nofrat Frenkel,
one year after her arrest at the Western Wall
Jerusalem, Israel- On November 8, 2010 at 7AM, Women of the Wall will gather at the Western Wall for their monthly prayer service, this month commemorating the one year anniversary of the arrest of Nofrat Frenkel. One year ago, Frenkel, a 6th year medical student in Beer Sheva, was arrested at the holy site while carrying a Torah and wearing a prayer shawl.
Since her arrest and the following arrest of Anat Hoffman six months later, there has been an overwhelming international outcry of support for women's right to pray freely, out loud, with the Torah at the wall. Over 3,250 women took pictures with their community’s Torah and emailed the pictures to Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Netanyahu and Administrator of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz. Three weeks ago, a new initiative, Rabbis for Women of the Wall, was launched. This great campaign of support inspired similar campaigns for cantors, organizations, and individuals. Since the launch, over 900 people have signed on to a Statement of Support for Women of the Wall. This month, over 25 women and men from the United States, including representatives from Rabbis for Women of the Wall, will be joining Women of the Wall at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Congregations all over the world will hold solidarity prayers with Women of the Wall in their congregations.
Along with commemorating the anniversary of the first arrest of a woman at the Western Wall, Women of the Wall will be holding a vigil with their Torah outside of the entrance to the Western Wall Plaza, in protest of the newest regulation passed by Rabbi Rabinowitz which prohibits men and women from entering the Western Wall Plaza with a Torah from the outside.
On the occasion of the anniversary of her arrest, Frenkel said, “As a small group of ordinary people, our struggle is going to be long and hard, against factions with tremendous political power. It was the global support we received that put the wind in our sails. After my arrest, Jews in both Israel and the Diaspora understood that we have to win this battle by foot. Men and women, from all sects of Judaism, have arrived monthly to pray with WOW at the Kotel and insist on their right for freedom of worship. The hope in our hearts has awakened again. The hope that our children will be worthy, if it is G-D's will, to live in a state that inscribes on its flag the belief in human rights with no discrimination among different sects of one religion, among males and females, among all of those created in G-D's image.”
Women of the Wall is a group of Jewish women from around the world who strive to achieve the right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Western Wall is Judaism’s most sacred holy site and the principal symbol of Jewish people-hood and sovereignty and Women of the Wall works to make it a holy site where women can pray freely.
For more information, contact:
International Co-Chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall, Rabbi Pamela Frydman, is currently in Israel and will be at the Kotel with Women of the Wall on November 8, 2010 at 7AM. She is available for interviews and can be contacted at: +972(0)50403645.