Woman of the Wall: Chaia Beckerman

Welcome to a new segment on our blog, Spotlight: Woman of the Wall, where we will be introducing you to active members of our struggle from all different walks of life. This new segment is brought to you by Eliana Fischel, HUC-JIR Intern with Women of the Wall


Chaia Beckermanchaia

Age: 58

Citizenship: Israeli/USA

Occupation: Editor

Why did you come pray with WOW for Rosh Chodesh Kislev?

I brought a group of travelers for the anniversary. We traveled Israel visiting sites and hearing speakers on subjects that relate to Women of the Wall: pluralism, democracy, women’s status, and more. The culmination of the trip was praying with WOW on RH Kislev.

What’s one positive experience you had at Rosh Chodesh Kislev?

The high of being with so many women on such a beautiful day. I very much felt, in the words of Hallel, “This is the day Gd made; rejoice and be happy on it.” The kavannah and energy were amazing. I was moved to see women there who were never much interested in WOW back in my day. 

What’s one negative experience you had at Rosh Chodesh Kislev?

Missing some of the service because we were caught in a long line of hundreds of people waiting for security that stretched way outside Dung Gate. We didn’t realize at first that they were lined up for the Temple Mount, not the plaza! 

What’s your wish for the future of the Kotel?

That women have the choice to pray freely in the Ezrat Nashim as well as any new section. A new section may be better suited to group prayer, but state-sanctioned gender discrimination in public space sets an ominous precedent, entrenching societal divisions and capitulating to violence. It’s unthinkable that pragmatic concessions on group practice at the Kotel be enshrined in law. And group willingness to compromise must not affect the rights of individual women who seek to pray in the women’s section with tallit and tefillin.


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