Anat Hoffman (chairwoman) is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. Previously, she held a seat on the Jerusalem City Council, where for fourteen years she stood in opposition to the policies of the city’s right-wing and ultra-Orthodox administration. She has dedicated her adult life to the Jewish principle of tikkun olam, which literally means repairing the world.
About Women of the Wall
Women of the Wall, or Nashot Hakotel נשות הכותל in Hebrew, is a group of Jewish women from around the world who strive to achieve the right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem, Israel. The Western Wall is Judaism’s most sacred holy site and the principal symbol of Jewish people-hood and sovereignty, and Women of the Wall works to make it a holy site where women can pray freely.
Judaism has always emphasized the importance of group prayer. Each individual should see herself as part of a larger clal (collective) and when praying together, they experience greater spiritual energy. By praying collectively and encouraging each other to have direct access to the experience of prayer and to the sacred Sefer Torah, the Women of the Wall strengthen each other’s spirituality.
In many circumstance, Jewish sanctity is still accessible and available solely by and for men. Women and girls do not always have the opportunity to take active, leadership roles in Jewish spiritual life. Women of the Wall strives to change this for women of all ages by providing this model of involvement and leadership of women and girls on all levels of Jewish prayer and celebration. Taking an active and vocal role in community prayer empowers us to use our voices in prayer and struggle, even in the face of attempts to silence us each month.