Fighting for religious pluralism in Israel


[UPDATED on Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.]

The arrest of Israeli feminist Anat Hoffman at the Western Wall last month sent ripples of alarm across the Jewish world, and leaders in Los Angeles will address their concerns about religious pluralism in Israel to Los Angeles’ Israeli Consul General in a public forum Nov. 26 at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.

Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center and founder of the monthly prayer group Women of the Wall, was arrested Oct. 16 while leading 250 women in prayer at Jerusalem’s iconic holy site. Israeli law forbids women from wearing prayer shawls or reading aloud from the Torah at the Wall; Hoffman was arrested for allegedly disturbing the peace.

Hoffman alleges that she was handcuffed, strip-searched and dragged across the floor before spending the night in a tiny cell. Israeli police say her account is not accurate.

She was released on condition that she not pray at the wall for 30 days.

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