Notice about Cleveland WOW Event 3-26-14


Rosh Hodesh Nissan 5774 arrives on Tuesday April 1, and once again the sacred and the secular months line up numerically.  As an avid supporter of the Women of the Wall, known in Hebrew as Nashot HaKotel, I am always watching the moon, as it tells me when Jewish women and men from around the world will gather at the Western Wall for a celebratory prayer service, which until about a year ago, was deemed illegal under Israeli law.
Since last Nissan, however, much has changed, not just for the Women of the Wall, but for all Jews who care about freedom of religious expression in public Jewish space.  Last year’s ruling by Judge Moshe Sobel of the Jerusalem District Court, holding that WOW custom is legitimate and acceptable, was a landmark decision and has sparked much social change at the Western Wall over the past year.  Not all supporters of WOW are in favor of the way this social change has unfolded nor of the new state of affairs.  Here in Cleveland especially, the opposition to the decisions of Anat Hoffman and WOW leadership, is exceptionally strong due to passionate and well informed activism.  This is exactly why the Cleveland Jewish community is so special – within our geographic region we are blessed to have many who make it not just their business but their life’s work to be active in the public life of the Jewish State.


On Wednesday evening, March 26, at 7 pm, Shira Pruce, the Director of Public Relations for Women of the Wall, will be the guest of Congregation Shaarey Tikvah. Shira will explain how WOW came to accept the historic compromise offered by the State of Israel and will answer all questions, comments and criticisms.  Rabbi David Kosak, Luisa Aviv and Fran Gordon have all stressed how important it is here in Cleveland that all sides of the issues are raised in a civil and respectful manner.


We invite all those who care about the state of Judaism in the Jewish State to attend this evening of dialogue and debate about the Women of the Wall.  Come and participate in nothing less than the writing of a new chapter in Jewish history.