Why Women Need to Pray at the Western Wall with Anat Hoffman, Susan Silverman & Deborah Katchko-Gray

Anat Hoffman, board chair of WOW and board member Rabbi Susan Silverman discuss the history of Women of the Wall, why it’s important to continue demanding equality for women praying freely at this holy site as well as the setbacks and triumphs the movement has faced over the years. Hoffman and Silverman are in conversation with Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, founder of the Women Cantors’ Network and organizer of the first WOW choir to help lift women’s voices through song.

This program is in commemoration of International Women’s Day.

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Women of the Wall: More Harm Than Good?

My alarm clock rang at 3am. Time to head to the Kotel for the crack of dawn vatikin minyan. My friend had told me that every Rosh Chodesh, two yeshivas come together to form one big minyan. She promised me lots of singing and ruchaniyut, or spirituality. I was hesitant to agree to go; I’d have to wake up so early, and worried I’d be too tired to focus. What if I wasn’t “feeling” the spirituality? I’d have missed out on precious minutes of sleep, which I could never seem to get enough of. My friend reassured me that it was worth going. So that morning, I rolled out of bed at 3 in the morning, grabbed a sweatshirt and shuffled downstairs to wait for my friend. It was dark and chilly as we passed through...

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Embracing Rosh Hodesh

By Scott Fox I love Hanukkah: the presents, wintertime, dreidels, candle lighting. I love all of it. I was born on the fourth day of Hanukkah (28th of Kislev), which makes the holiday particularly special. I lament the beginning of the month of Tevet because it signals the coming end of that special time and the return to normal life. As a semi-celebratory day, Rosh Hodesh (the beginning of the new month) seemed just as perfunctory as Tevet. It is a time that is marked but not especially noteworthy. Two years ago, however, Rosh Hodesh Tevet completely changed my relationship with that time of the year. On that two-day Rosh Hodesh, I lost a woman who shaped my practice of Judaism, and also discovered new women Jewish heroes who would inject Rosh Hodesh with a newfound importance...

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