When the Western Wall was captured by Israel in 1967, it may have been unthinkable that Orthodox women would years later assert their right to participate fully in religious life there. Praying in Her Own Voice documents the contentious struggle of Women of the Wall for the right to wear prayer shawls and read aloud from a Torah scroll—acts that Jewish law permits women to perform but that are fiercely objected to by the Orthodox authority that has jurisdiction over this national symbol and public space. Director Yael Katzir explained her motivation for making the film: “I was moved or to be precise provoked by the fact that the ultra-Orthodox rabbi of the Wall opposes the voices of women” — quite literally, they are required to pray silently. Following the group for two years, the film includes affecting footage of the women praying aloud, negotiating for equal treatment, pursuing their case to the Supreme Court and enduring violent confrontations with their ultra-Orthodox opponents. Women of the Wall’s legal battle is a test case that marks the intersection of religious and secular life in Israel. This excellent documentary highlights the power and conviction of women seeking religious freedom.
From 2008 Festival: Director, Israel
Yael Katzir is a filmmaker, college professor, wife and mother, Yael Katzir was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1942. She studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at UC Los Angeles, CA where she received her Doctoral Degree in History. She completed her Masters degree at Boston University MFA in Broadcasting and Film (Cum Laude).
Katzir is a director of Beit Berl College: Communal Cable Television Center broadcasting regularly on Israel Cable TV Channel 98, country wide. She is also a professor of film and history at the Art School. Independent Documentary filmmaker director and producer. She is also a published author. Her Award winning films include: Company Jasmine, Shivah for My Mother, A place for Everyone. A Glimpse of Paradise.