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Central Conference of American Rabbis Condemns Attacks on Egged Buses Featuring Women of the Wall

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) condemns Monday’s attacks on Egged
buses carrying advertisements of Women of the Wall in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem
neighborhood, Mea Shearim. These buses were apparently targeted for violence because they
feature advertisements placed by Women of the Wall, inviting young women becoming Bat
Mitzvah to read from the Torah at the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Jerusalem Temple Mount,
Judaism’s holiest site.
The vandalism of advertisements of Women of the Wall on Egged buses is evidence of
groundless hatred of the perpetrators’ fellow Jews. Moreover, the violence perpetrated against the
advertisements desecrates the Divine Name by defacing a photograph of our sacred Torah that
appears in the ad. According to Ha’aretz, “Police were called in after a group of ultra-Orthodox
men threw paint on the signs and attempted to slash the tires of the buses.”
The CCAR calls upon rabbis of all Jewish religious movements to condemn this ongoing battle
against women’s right to pray at Judaism’s holy site, and to speak out against these violent
crimes. In particular, rabbis who oppose the Women of the Wall — especially Rabbi Shmuel
Rabinowitz, who heads The Western Wall Heritage Foundation — are obliged to call on their
supporters to respond with civility.
The CCAR remains unwavering in support of Women of the Wall and its aim to secure equal
rights for men and women of every stream of Judaism at our tradition’s most sacred place.
The CCAR wishes a Chodesh Tov to all who celebrated Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan with Women
of the Wall this morning, whether in person at the Kotel or in spirit from afar. The CCAR
wishes a hearty mazal tov to Sasha Lutt, one of the girls featured in the bus advertisements, who
became a Bat Mitzvah as she reads from a Torah Scroll at the Kotel this Rosh Chodesh.
Rabbi Richard A. Block
President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Steven A. Fox
Chief Executive, Central Conference of American Rabbis