New York, NY, November 18, 2012
CONTACT: Hiam Simon 212 366-1194
Ameinu, the leading progressive Zionist membership organization in North America, views with great concern the arrest of Anat Hoffman, the leader of Women of the Wall, for singing at the Western Wall. On Tuesday evening, Ms. Hoffman was arrested while chanting the Shema during a special Rosh Chodesh service held by Women of the Wall and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, at the holy site. “It is time to end the Orthodox monopoly on religion,” said Kenneth Bob, President of Ameinu. “The State of Israel must have better things to do than arrest a peaceful woman who is trying to express her Jewish identity at the very place where Jews have yearned to pray for two millenia,” he added. “Religious freedom is a universal right. The government of Israel has an obligation to protect this right for all of its citizens — Muslim, Christian and all streams of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. Anat Hoffman’s arrest is the latest ugly episode in the effort to assert Orthodox hegemony over other, equally legitimate streams of Judaism. It is time for this to change,” Bob continued.
Ameinu expresses its disgust with the brutal treatment that Ms. Hoffman received while in police custody. Despite her cooperation, Ms. Hoffman was unnecessarily shackled, stripped and dragged to a jail cell by the police. Ameinu stands with Anat Hoffman and will continue to support efforts to ensure religious pluralism in Israel and North America.
Ameinu, the leading progressive Zionist membership organization in the United States, is dedicated to promoting a negotiated peace between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states, and to social and economic justice for all in Israel and America.
Ameinu reinforces Jewish continuity through support for Habonim Dror, the Labor Zionist youth movement, and management of the Kibbutz Program Center which sends 100’s of young adults on unique Israel experiential journeys every year.