Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Hundreds In Jerusalem Protest Bills Bashing Liberal Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem to protest government moves seen as targeting liberal streams of Judaism.

The protesters who gathered in Jerusalem on Saturday night carried signs including “Judaism without coercion,” and “We are all Women of the Wall.”

The demonstration was organized by liberal movements of Judaism and the Women of the Wall organization.

“We came to the Wall every month. We ‘voted with our feet.’  We fought for equality. The Prime Minister understood. That’s why he initiated the negotiations. That’s why he brought the agreement to a vote. It gave us hope. Hope for democracy. Hope for the people of Israel,” Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall, said in an address to the crowds. “But suddenly, he changed his mind. Suddenly, he gave in to the ultra-Orthodox.”

The demonstration began after the end of Shabbat with a Havdallah service and religious songs.

Israel’s Cabinet last week froze a previous government decision to expand a non-Orthodox prayer section at the Western Wall.  The same day, a ministerial committee approved a bill that would have made the haredi Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate the only body authorized by the government to perform conversions in Israel. On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the legislation will not be considered for six months while a “team” he will appoint comes up with recommendations for an “arrangement” on the issue.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.