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WOW- Women at the Wall

Women were able to have their photographs taken holding a Torah at the synagogue as a way of taking a stand for religious pluralism in Israel.

Community Contact Information:
Congregation Solel
Highland Park, IL
http://www.solel.org

 

Goals:

  • To respond to the call of the Reform Movement and Congregation Solel's rabbi to galvanize the congregation to act on values of social justice and connect to Israel through education and action
  • To bring together different generations of congregants for a program that ties together Torah and tikkun olam in a creative way

Preparation:
The program was designed to be held on one Sunday morning. Congregation Solel board members served in the following volunteer positions: greeter, photo release securer (each participant had to sign a release form to allow their picture to be displayed), photographer, and Torah lifter (to facilitate handing the Torah to participants). The pictures were taken on the bima.

Project Implementation:
Volunteers arrived early on the day of the event, which went smoothly. A total of 75 women participated, many of whom were mothers who came with their daughters. The response was so positive that the program was repeated the following Sunday; this time, Congregation Solel invited members of a neighboring synagogue to participate.

Results:
After the program, Congregation Solel submitted all photos for which it had obtained releases to Women of the Wall in Israel so that the organization could send the pictures to the Israeli Government.