Meeting the men of the Women of the Wall

Facing arrests and harassment, Jewish men from various streams join the female prayer group in an effort to promote justice and tolerance.

By NECHAMA VEEDER
June 11, 2015 17:26
Women of the Wall

Men of the Women of the Wall pray behind the partition at the back of the women’s section, in 2013.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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The group in the center of the women’s section at the Western Wall every Rosh Hodesh – many clad in kippot, tefillin and colorful prayer shawls – has become a familiar sight over the past 26 years. But for the past two months, the media spotlight has focused on the smaller group of men who stand behind the women’s section and join in the prayers.

On April 20, Charlie Kalech became the first man arrested in connection with Women of the Wall. A month later, at the Rosh Hodesh Sivan service on May 18, Nitai Groen was detained for trying to pass a Torah scroll to the women’s section in the hope that six girls could receive an aliya for their bat mitzvas.

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