Beth El Temple, West Hartford
Rabbi Ilana C. Garber
All photos: Harriet Dobin
On Sunday, October 21, 2012, more than 70 women and young girls gathered in the Chapel of Beth El Temple for a “Shema Solidarity” experience – a moment of standing together in support of Anat Hoffman and the Women of the Wall.
In a statement opening the event, Rabbi Ilana Garber declared:
We, the women of the Greater Hartford Jewish community, stand here in solidarity today with our sisters in Israel, the Women of the Wall.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: The Kotel is the holiest place in the world for Jews of all backgrounds and all denominations.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: The Kotel was liberated in 1967, returned to all Jews.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: Men and women alike should be allowed to pray freely, openly, and without the threat of harassment.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: as American Jews, we pledge to continue our support of our sister movements in Israel and to raise awareness for all that the Masorti/Conservative movement has done for Israeli society.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: While we may live in the west, our hearts turn eastward, toward Zion, and we want to support our Israeli sisters.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: Anat Hoffman has been singled-out by Israeli police due to her active role as leader of Women of the Wall and this discrimination is disgusting.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, we expect you to step in and put a stop to this unnecessary violence and targeted discrimination.
Shema Koleinu – hear our voices: We are all Women of the Wall and we stand in solidarity with you today.
Shema Koleinu – Shema.
The group then sang “Shema Yisrael” – the very prayer that Anat Hoffman and some 200 Hadassah women were reciting when she was arrested last week at the Kotel. The video is being released this week (visit the Beth El Temple website www.bethelwesthartford.org) and will be sent to the Women of the Wall to show support of their mission.