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Women of the Wall

by Faye M. Lederman

The controversial women's prayer group in Jerusalem

Feminism arrives at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, in the form of a women's prayer group started in 1989. Despite verbal and physical attack, these women continue fighting for the right to pray in this holy space, thereby testing the limits of and expanding the interpretations of Judaism in Israel. In May 2000 the group once again made international headlines when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in their favor after an eleven year court case. This decision, however, dismantled only the legal barrier to their struggle, and not the cultural or societal ones barring their freedom of spiritual expression. Women of the Wall is a useful discussion tool to raise dialogue about issues of religious freedom, separation of religion and state, women's rights, women's status in religion, and civil disobedience. A one-page update of the group's current status is included with tape rental/purchase.

Goldie Charles
The Jewish Week
full review

Aviva Kempner
The Washington Jewish Week
full review

quoteOne of the most remarkable and useful aspects of Women of the Wall is that while it tells a very specific story, it connects the audience to a much wider set of issues: feminism, pluralism, inter-religious strife. Women of the Wall, in addition to being an artistic documentary, is truly an inspiring and original educational tool. It has opened students' minds to new religious perspectives and has exposed the painful and courageous struggle of the women's prayer group.
Sarah Gershman, Program Director
Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, New York University

quoteThe film's vivid portrayal of the Women of the Wall movement and of the women themselves, enabled the group to raise fundamental questions for future discussion: Jewish conceptions of gender and their implications for feminism in Judaism; strategies for effecting change in womens religious roles; the implications of Women of the Wall for American Jewish/Israeli relations.
Diane Steinman
American Jewish Committee

quoteThis work explores with great sensitivity some of the most crucial issues in contemporary Jewish life. On every level, this is a film that merits the widest possible distribution. Screenings of this documentary will make an important contribution to the dialogue between Israel and the Diaspora, among Jewish feminist of all kinds, and across the denominations.
Rabbi Carol Levithan, Director of Programs
Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side

AWARDS & SCREENINGS:

  • Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival
  • Doubletake Documentary Film Festival
  • Women in the Director's Chair
  • New York Jewish Film Festival
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival
  • Montreal Jewish Film Festival
  • DOXA Documentary Festival

Visit the official website for Women of the Wall

Women of the Wall

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