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AJC protests treatment of women’s prayer activist

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Jewish Committee complained to the Israeli government about the police treatment of an activist for womens’ prayer at the Western Wall. 

"Without questioning the intentions of the police officers involved, the recent humiliating questioning — including fingerprinting — of the distinguished director of the Israel Religious Action Center, a leader of the worldwide movement for Reform Judaism, Ms. Anat Hoffman, is viewed in some quarters as a form of harassment based on her religious practice and values," said the letter sent last Friday to Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the Israeli minister for internal security.

"Whatever may have been the determinations of domestic Israeli law on this matter, we are concerned that the processing of Ms. Hoffman was insensitive to the values of gender equality before God that so many of us hold central to our Jewish beliefs," continued the letter, signed by Richard Sideman and David Harris, president and executive director, respectively, of the group.

Hoffman’s questioning earlier this month elicited protests from the Reform and Conservative movements.

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