By Cheryl Temkin
Cheryl Temkin is from Tamarac, Florida and volunteering for Women of the Wall through Skilled Volunteers for Israel
Due to Hurricane Sandy my travel plans were thrown into disarray and so I got a ‘bonus week’ in Jerusalem. Of course our thoughts are those who have suffered from the effects of this horrific storm but I personally enjoyed my extra days here.
Looking back on the past month I can reflect on the events that will probably change the face of WOW, certainly in the short term and hopefully even farther out. The hope is that the enormous publicity generated, some locally and much more overseas, will get the conversations underway. People are starting to understand that there are overwhelming obstacles to Jewish women who come to the Kotel to welcome Rosh Hodesh, attired as they would if attending synagogue services, and are actually arrested and detained for this very reason. When these issues come to the forefront and suddenly appear in the pages of the Jewish press, locally and abroad, when the Jewish Agency takes upon itself to pass a resolution calling upon governmental authorities to revisit the current restrictions, when the recitation of the Sh’ma becomes a rallying cry for Jews the world over to post ‘performances’ on YouTube, then we know that the world is indeed aware.
This is an opportunity to advance the initiatives that WOW has championed since 1988. It is an opportunity not to be squandered. I return to the United States, hopeful that I will be able to relay this message to a few interested folks in whom a spark has been ignited.
And although I will not be with you on November 15th (don’t think my flight delays will last quite that long!), I will be with you in spirit.
My heartfelt thanks to all who have enriched my stay in Jerusalem enormously, this has been a life-changing experience and I am grateful for the opportunities granted me.