October 18, 2012, New York, NY — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today denounced the arrest of Anat Hoffman for praying with other women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and her subsequent brutal treatment by the police. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“The arrest of Anat Hoffman, director of the Israel Religious Action Center, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem for saying the Sh’ma Israel, Judaism’s central proclamation of faith, is another shameful chapter in the treatment of women praying at the Wall by government authorities. Her brutal treatment by the police after the arrest, which included shackles, a strip search, and dragging her on the floor 150 feet, is even more outrageous. The hatred and contempt for Hoffman’s civil rights expressed by the actions of those who arrested her are chilling.
“When Women of the Wall, the group led (and founded) by Hoffman, again prayed at the wall while Hoffman was still in custody, two more leaders were detained but released after they refused to admit to a charge of disturbing the peace.
“All who support equality for women and the restoration of the Wall as a holy site accessible to all streams of Judaism must unite in making their condemnation of this event known to the Israeli government.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
Contact: Brianne Nadeau
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