Saturday, April 20, 2013

Women of the Wall: Irrelevant for Israelis - Heroes in America

Times of Israel   Every second Jewish American who talks to me about Israel talks about Women of the Wall,” says Chen Bram, an anthropologist and organizational psychologist who is currently a Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor at the University of Florida. “They all know this story.” For many American Jews, Women of the Wall, the tallitot- and tefillin-wearing women who read the Torah at the Kotel, have long been heroes of Jewish religious pluralism. Most Israelis, however, are only recently aware of the group — though they may be more knowledgeable about other religious pluralism issues in Israel.

Bram is surprised by how much Americans know about Women of the Wall. He says chairwoman Anat Hoffman is accorded rock star status by liberal American Jews. Conversely, Rabbi David Golinkin, President of the Conservative Movement’s Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, says Hoffman and her colleagues are considered irrelevant by most Israelis. [...]

It is not merely a matter of media coverage, but a reflection of a major disconnect between the two largest Jewish communities in the world. This divide is slowly being bridged, however, as the notion of a “global Jewish Peoplehood” is entering the public discourse, and religious pluralism and civil rights are rising higher on the Israeli political agenda.

“The whole battle for the Western Wall is an Americanized and American-imported battle for religious moderation and tolerance,” explains Shmuel Rosner, senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute and L.A. Jewish Journal columnist. “Women wearing a tallit is not something Israelis are used to. They don’t necessarily have negative feelings about it, but it’s just strange and feels like it doesn’t belong here.”[...]

1 comment :

  1. There is no disconnect or problems with Diaspora Jewry as a result of the Women of the Wall.This is simply a narrative that liberal newspapers such as the Jewish Daily Foward are creating. It is complete fiction. What a lot of Jews wonder is why the Charedi community in Yerushalyim permits these reform activists to continue desecrating the Kosel and distrubing those who come to worship.I guess it is the good work of the police stationed at Kishle who are sure to keep order.


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