A Western Wall bat mitzvah on Monday morning was interrupted by whistling protesters who sought to disrupt the coming-of-age ceremony.
Twelve-year-old Hod Hasharon native Noa Brenner celebrated her bat mitzvah at the monthly prayer service of Women of the Wall, a feminist group advocating for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall holy site.
According to news reports, more than a thousand female yeshiva students were bussed in by Liba, an Orthodox Jewish group which opposes a government plan to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.
Some of the girls, who had been pulled out of school for the protest, heckled the prayer service, with one calling the worshippers “animals,” according to Haaretz. Others prayed silently.
Susan Silverman, Women of the Wall board member and the sister of American comedian Sarah Silverman, was reportedly kicked in the shin by one of the protesters.
It has been over a year since the Israeli government promised to create an egalitarian site at the Western Wall, which has stalled due to ultra-Orthodox opposition.