Last night Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, was arrested at the Western Wall. This occurred during a prayer service in the woman’s section with 250 other participants, including members of Women of the Wall and Hadassah.

Anat was detained and held overnight in police custody for disturbing the peace. She was arrested for saying the Shema, Judaism’s central declaration of faith, out loud at the Western Wall.

Anat was put through a terrible ordeal. The experience was both frightening and humiliating, simply for wanting to pray as a Jew at the Kotel. We are all so relieved that Anat is now back home.  She also wants to express her profound gratitude to all of you for your support and good wishes.

Anat will be writing about this experience herself in the coming days. As we move forward we are more determined than ever to achieve equality for women, everywhere in Israel, including the Kotel. Please sign and share our petition, which calls on the Israeli government to end the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over the Western Wall.

Noa Sattath is the director of the Israel Religious Action Center.

Photo courtesy of Women of the Wall.