Women of the Wall sign now

To: Ambassador Michael Oren
Israeli Ambassador to the United States of America

Dear Ambassador Oren,

We, the undersigned, join Cleveland Council NAAMAT to express our outrage that the rights of women to free expression of prayer are suppressed at the Western Wall, the Kotel. This sense of outrage is shared by American Jews, men and women of all denominations, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal and Secular. Our dismay is inflamed by the treatment of the Women of the Wall whose only goal is to be able to pray as women at the Kotel without fear of intimidation, acts of violence or detention by the police. We are deeply concerned about the ultra-orthodox prayer practices being imposed on all Jews at this sacred site. The Western Wall is a holy site for all of the Jewish people regardless of affiliation.

Women of the Wall is an independent group of observant Jewish women who seek the opportunity to take part in group prayer at the Western Wall wearing tallitot and reading from the Torah. Criminalizing Jews praying in traditional prayer garments and reading from the Torah marks a dangerous capitulation to religious extremism. At stake in the acceptance of Women of the Wall is the very foundation of Israel as a democracy and its reputation abroad. It is absurd to think that this persecution of Women of the Wall could occur in any other country of the world without Israel raising its voice in protest.


We implore you to convey to Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Government of the State of Israel to let our women pray at the Kotel in what ever manner they see fit, including with prayer shawls and Torah scrolls. Our expectation is that the appalling current state of affairs will be remedied immediately so that the Kotel will be a place of inclusion, free from both violence and threat of violence against women. We expect that the Kotel will once again be a place of respect for the plurality of Jewish prayer practices and that violence and intolerance will be banished from this precious historic site.



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Amber DawsonBy:
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Israeli Ambassador to USA

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