Up Against the Wall: Anat Hoffman Interrogated
Our coverage of the Women of the Wall, the monthly Rosh Chodesh prayer group, continues, with the latest news on the police interrogation of Anat Hoffman in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Hoffman is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall.
In November, a member of this Rosh Hodesh group, Nofrat Frenkel, was arrested for publically wearing a tallit at the Kotel. The Jerusalem police claimed that they arrested Frankel in response to a High Court ruling concerning proper dress code for visitors. Earlier this week, Anat Hoffman was fingerprinted and interrogated for over an hour concerning the actions of this prayer group.
Ben Harris, JTA reporter, met with Hoffman in Israel yesterday and recorded this video segment. Toward the end, Hoffman points to a photograph on the wall of her office of Rosa Parks being fingerprinted, and likens her experience this week to that struggle for civil rights. “The stain is not just on my finger, the stain is on Israel,” she said.
Speaking recently about last month’s Kotel gathering of the Women of the Wall, at which record numbers of women turned out in support of egalitarian religious treatment, Hoffman declared, “We are pushing the envelope. History is made of moments like this.”
History is not made at moments of interrogation and disrespect.
As stated in the Union for Reform Judaism’s 1976 Resolution on Women, the Reform Jewish Movement has been a pioneer in asserting the principle and furthering the practice of the equality of women on every level of life, including religious rights. I am proud of the significant of role of women in all areas of Reform Jewish life, both in North America and in our Reform congregations in Israel. Egalitarian treatment for women in Israel is at risk, and we need to speak out now before these rights are further eroded and denied.
For more information on the Women of the Wall or women’s rights in Israel, feel free to get in touch with me.