What a shame – Women of the Wall – home vandalized by ultra orthodox Jews!

Anat Hoffman and other Women of the Wall praying at the Wall.

Anat Hoffman has written an article “Answered Prayers” in which she announced “Judge Moshe Sobel of the Jerusalem District Court issued a groundbreaking ruling saying our group was not illegal and we would be allowed to pray at the Wall without fear of further detentions. That same week, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky sat with Women of the Wall to discuss his plan for new section that would be set aside for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel. I began to receive congratulations from around the world as if the struggle was over, but, as is often the case in politics, the devil is in the details.”

Today I received the following mail informing me that Ultra Orthodox Jews have vandalized the home of one of the Woman of the Wall. What is with the ultra orthodox Jews why can’t they allow Jewish women to pray at the wall wearing their tallit? This is shameful.


Dear Mark,

With Anat away on a speaking tour in the United States, I wanted to update you on some disturbing patterns we have been observing here in Jerusalem.

Since the landmark Sobel ruling in Jerusalem’s District Court, which enabled Women of the Wall to pray according to their customs at the Kotel, the backlash from the ultra-Orthodox community has been growing steadily. We witnessed a wave of violence at the Kotel last Rosh Hodesh. A week ago, Peggy Cidor, a board member of Women of the Wall, had her home vandalized with threatening graffiti.

The spiritual leader of the Shas political party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has threatened to bring 100,000 protesters with him on June 9th for Rosh Chodesh.  Hopefully, this will not lead to a repeat of last month’s violent outbursts at the Western Wall.

Given the increase in violent rhetoric coming from opponents of the Sobel ruling and the Sharansky plan, it is our duty to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions. Anat is the most visible leader in the Jewish world on this issue. Her safety is always our primary concern and we will make sure that all relevant security measures are in place, both at home and in the office, to enable her continue to lead us in the fight for equality and freedom.

Meanwhile, we need to keep up the flow of emails to the Prime Minister’s office until next week, letting him know that although the ultra-Orthodox can make a big show, we are still the majority of world Jewry.


Noa Sattath
Director, IRAC
Please write to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Thank you.

Ultra Orthodox Jews at the Wall threatening women of the wall who had gone to pray

Dear Anat Hoffman we support the Women of the Wall!

Anat Hoffman, Rabbis Jeremy Gordon & Moshe Freedman debate Women of the Wall and who owns Judaism. 

Arrest of Anat Hoffman at the Wall. She was strip searched and made to sleep on the floor of a prison cell for the night!

Anat and the Women of the Wall ….we are with you…don’t give up…you are the true face of Israel!


On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, one billion women will dance, dance to highlight the atrocities committed against them, sing for equality, and celebrate freedom of Self.  Let us begin to be the change.


Stop extradition of Captain Paul Watson!

Captain Paul Watson really needs your help. There is a very good chance that he would be extradited into politically motivated corruption by Costa Rica and Japan upon entering the United States.

Sign and share this petition to the White House to “Provide Safe Haven to Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society”. You do not have to be a US citizen or resident to sign.

It can be found @ http://wh.gov/VnRf. The full text of the petition language is as follows:

“We request the U.S. not extradite U.S citizen Paul F. Watson.

“There are two active Interpol Red Notices issued against Captain Watson at the request of Costa Rica and Japan. Underlying these notices are non-lethal acts in defense of marine life suffering from illegal shark fishing and whaling operations. The warrants are politically motivated.

“Captain Watson is a world-renowned and highly respected leader in environmental issues. In 1999, he was awarded President George H.W. Bush’s “Daily Points of Light” Award and in 2000, he was named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century.” In 2012, he became only the second person ever to be honored with the Jules Verne Award for environmentalists and adventurers. Captain Watson is a national treasure.”

We have until February 28th to garner 100,000 signatures from individuals 13 years and older, no matter where they live in the world, who support these motions in order for the White House to consider taking action on the petitions.

Please sign and share: http://wh.gov/VnRf

Urgent Message from Anat Hoffman Irac

January 28, 2013

Click here to write the Prime Minister

Dear Mark,

Israelis went to the polls last week and sent a clear message to the current Prime Minister. Netanyahu will remain Prime Minister, but in a roundabout way, with a greatly reduced party and without a solid majority. In the final tally of the votes, the right block has 61 seats and the left block 59 seats. Parties that advocate for internal-Israeli issues have gained strength at the expense of Netanyahu’s current coalition.

To many people around the world, the sight of 13 (!) political parties entering the Knesset can be confusing. They seem to stand for very narrow issues, a certain constituency, or just the personality of one person. It is also challenging for IRAC to navigate these unclear waters, but it is our job to get in front of as many potential legislators as possible to explain the issues that are important to us and to progressive Jews everywhere.

There is a phenomenon in Israeli politics that is somewhat unique to our country; new parties that burst onto the scene to fill a vacuum or to address a need that isn’t represented by the major parties. In recent years, some of these parties did so well that they ended up being the largest parties in the Knesset and, in one case; they even became the ruling party. But political fortunes in Israel can be fickle. Kadima was the largest party in the last Knesset but now they only have two seats.

In the new Knesset, former TV news anchor Yair Lapid’s “Yesh Atid” (there is a future) party is the second largest and is adding a strong new voice to the Israeli political field. We are optimistic that he will use his time on the national stage to affect the change he spoke about at the IMPJ’s Biennial less than a year ago. In one regard he has already made history. This is the first time that a major political party in Israel brings only new people into the Knesset; none of Yesh Atid’s 19 Knesset members have ever held this office before.

Over the next few weeks, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be busy forming a new government. The election results show that the public is looking for leaders that will push the country in a new direction. Hopefully politicians opposed to equality and pluralism will be retired in favor of a new beginning for pluralism in Israel.

Anat Hoffman
Executive Director, IRAC

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Action Alert: Write the Prime Minster!

Use this link to write current and future Prime Minister Netanyahu to urge him to form a government that will include parties committed to pluralism. Once you have finished you can forward the letter to your friends and post it on your Facebook page and other social media



It has not been a good day. It is cold, windy and my dog Rainy has disappeared…missing for the last two days. Could someone have eaten my best friend?

The news is not all that bad except for a news report that has raised a controversy.

Apparently the Government of India has decided that foreign gay couples and single people are to be barred from renting a womb in India – surrogacy, which is a booming business in this country.

The cost of surrogacy is about $18,000 to $30,000 in India, of which around $8,000 goes to the surrogate mother. The figure is roughly a third of the US price.

See everything is cheaper in Asia, even wombs.

Many claim that the poor Indian mothers get an amount of money that probably generations of their family have never seen.

The bill says only women aged between 21 and 35 can act as surrogates but sets no minimum payment for the mother.

Gay Rights lawyers and fertility clinics in India are going challenge this in the courts.

Interestingly not many people know about the flourishing “Surrogacy Tourism” in India. Now that all this has come to light we can expect the overall “tourism” figures to rise.

What a wonderful world this is…everything for rent: wombs, children, men, women, cars, houses, animals, love and other miscellaneous thingies.

I wonder when Souls will be available for rent?

Happy Hanukkah Mrs.Sarah Cohen

Mrs.Sarah Cohen pic by Mark Ulyseas

Shalom Sarah Aunty,

Happy Hanukkah my dear friend!
You are part of the 2600 year old umbilical cord that connects Israel and the ancient land of India.
And you have honoured this and more by keeping your Faith and respecting others’ Faith.

Peace, Love and Blessings

Your friend
Mark Ulyseas