Rabbi Saperstein and Rabbi Feldman: "The overt threats implied by the vandalism inside the hallway of the apartment building of a leader of Women of the Wall serve to remind us of the utmost importance of the Women of the Wall's efforts to advance religious pluralism, democracy, and gender equality in Israel. We call on the Israeli judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2013 - Vandals today spray-painted hateful graffiti outside of the Jerusalem home of Peggy Cidor, a board member of Women of the Wall. The graffiti also read, "Tag Torah," a deliberate reference to the recent vandalism, death threats, and mosque burnings attributed to the "Price Tag" ultra-religious Jewish nationalists who have targeted both Jews and Arabs with death threats.
In response to the attack, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We are outraged by today's vandalism at the Jerusalem home of Women of the Wall board member Peggy Cidor. The graffiti messages, which included phrases such as, 'Women of the Wall are wicked,' 'Peggy, your time has expired' and 'Jerusalem is Holy,' seek to intimidate women and those who stand with them in support of women's right to pray. Those responsible for these heinous acts must be held accountable for their actions.
This attack comes on the heels of recent aggression directed toward women at the Kotel. Last week, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews threw rocks, spit and hurled derogatory comments at women participating in a Rosh Chodesh service.
We commend Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat for his condemnation of this attack and for his promise to treat this vandalism 'with legal severity.' Likewise, we commend Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, for speaking out against this act of violence, which he rightly noted does not heed the Torah's teachings.
The overt threats implied by the vandalism inside the hallway of the apartment building of a leader of Women of the Wall serve to remind us of the utmost importance of the Women of the Wall's efforts to advance religious pluralism, democracy, and gender equality in Israel. We call on the Israeli judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable."
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.3 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.