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RA Raises Concerns About New Arrests at Western Wall

Posted on Feb 11, 2013

Two Conservative rabbis among those arrested

NEW YORK – Following today’s arrest of 10 women praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Julie Schonfeld renewed her call for a quick solution that respects religious pluralism and women’s equality. Schonfeld has been an outspoken critic of the treatment of non-Orthodox Jews at the wall.

Among those arrested today were RA members Debra Cantor of B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, Conn., and Robyn Fryer Bodzin of the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism in Flushing, N.Y. In response to the arrests, Schonfeld offered the following statement:

Today’s arrests at the Western Wall are a deeply concerning development at a time when we were hopeful for real progress on religious pluralism and women’s equality at this sacred site. It is unthinkable that in 2013, Israel is still denying the religious freedom of Jews wishing to express their faith without fear of being detained. Today’s action once again divides the Jewish community’s unity and drains energy away from crucial issues demanding our attention.

Adding to Schonfeld’s comments, Gerald C. Skolnik, president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said:

I am proud of Robyn Fryer Bodzin and Debra Cantor and all those who were willing to put their personal freedom at risk today on behalf of all of us. Cantor, one of the first women ordained by our movement, and Fryer Bodzin, ordained in 2005, embody the immeasurable contribution that women make to the Conservative Rabbinate and world Jewry.