Rabbi Neil Cooper went to the Western Wall to pray and understand; instead, he was shoved to the ground by his fellow Jew.
We may not feel personally affected by the difficulty of defending egalitarian prayer spaces in Israel. Here’s why we need to act anyway.
The temporary takeover by Orthodox worshippers of the area at the Western Wall designated for non-Orthodox services combined with the suspicion that the Israeli government might never build a promised egalitarian prayer platform there has spurred non-Orthodox leaders to abandon the plan for a separate space and revert to their original demand: for their own section at the existing prayer plaza.
(JTA) — In what is believed to be a first, Orthodox Jews temporarily took over the space at the Western Wall that has been designated for non-Orthodox prayer services. A mechitzah — a physical divider separating men and women — was set up at the southern section of the Western Wall on Tuesday for a service led…
Israel’s former Sephardic chief rabbi said that a landmark compromise establishing a mixed-gender prayer space at the Western Wall will “weaken Jerusalem.”
Now that the long-awaited plan to create a proper egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall has been put on hold, again, here are five actions that American Jewish leaders can take — and one course of action that they should not, under any circumstances, follow.
The Israeli government will order a permanent bimah, or an elevated podium for prayer, to be built in the southern section of the Western Wall holy site as a signal to American and Israeli non-Orthodox movements that it is serious about implementing its plan for an egalitarian prayer space there.
The deadline for resolving the crisis over the new egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall in Jerusalem has been extended indefinitely, after an aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to draft a solution acceptable to the opposing sides within the 60 days he was allotted.
Non-Orthodox activists for prayer rights at the Western Wall are fighting for face time with the government as the deadline for a compromise on the egalitarian plaza plan approaches.
David Sharan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.S.-born chief of staff, who is heading negotiations on an egalitarian Western Wall plaza, will be the Israeli Cabinet’s next secretary.