Press Release: UMass Dartmouth's Center for Jewish Culture to Host "Women of the Wall" Lecture and Discussion
Date: October 30, 2013
Department: Center for Jewish Culture
"Women of the Wall" is a group of women and men who meet monthly for a prayer in protest which aims to change the status quo that is currently preventing women from being able to pray freely at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In December 1988, a multi-denominational group of approximately seventy women approached Jerusalem's Kotel (Western Wall) with a Torah scroll to conduct a halahic (according to Jewish law) women's prayer service, standing together, and praying out loud. Suddenly many women, and men on the other side of the mehitzah (barrier separating men and women), began to scream, curse and even threaten them. Despite these events, they managed to complete their Torah reading.
Since this event, "Women of the Wall" has experienced 20 years of a contentions history. Rabbi Satlow was an active participant during her 2012-2013 sabbatical year in Jerusalem. The goal has great ramifications for women's rights in Judaism and in Israel. The group believes it must be achieved through social advocacy, and Jewish education and empowerment in order to raise awareness and change the social perception of these issues.
The CJC is to increase the understanding and communication between Jewish and non-Jewish people of Southeastern Massachusetts. The CJC sponsors educational and cultural programs that explore aspects of Jewish heritage, often in collaboration with other campus based academic centers and organizations. The Center works to expand the Judaica collection housed in the University's Claire T. Carney Library, including the Center for Jewish Culture Archives and individuals in the SouthCoast area.