Jewish Federations General Assembly Capped by March to Kotel

Egalitarian Prayer Service Held at Robinson's Arch

jfna

By JTA

Published November 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly ended with speeches at Jerusalem City Hall and a prayer service at Robinson’s Arch, the egalitarian site at the Western Wall.

In front of City Hall, Mayor Nir Barkat highlighted Jerusalem’s increasing tourism numbers and a range of new cultural offerings in the city. He credited the city’s success to its diversity.

“Jerusalem is accepted by all tribes,” Barkat said. “Jerusalem is a destination for pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The way Jerusalem functioned 3,000 years ago is our future.”

Barkat and Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky called for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy serving a life sentence in the United States. The mayor encouraged delegates to lobby President Obama to free Pollard because “we need him here with us.”

Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who erected a temporary platform for prayer earlier this year at Robinson’s Arch, said the relationship between Israel and the global Jewish community “is a two-way street.”

“It’s about being partners, understanding that we’re one nation no matter where we come from or how we might practice as Jews,” he said.

Following the speeches, the delegates walked to Robinson’s Arch, where they participated in an egalitarian prayer service and sang “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem. Speaking after the ceremony, Sharansky praised the service as an example of Jewish unity.

“We’re not fighting to defeat the other,” he said. “We’re fighting to see how we can be one people with one God, one prayer and one Kotel.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.