Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

18 Jewish House Members Press Netanyahu On Pluralism

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Eighteen Jewish Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives wrote Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing disappointment in his rollback of religious pluralism reforms.

“We write to express our profound concerns about recent decisions that seem to call into question the legitimacy and equal status of non-Orthodox Jews,” said the letter sent Thursday.

Among the decisions they cited were the June decision by Netanyahu’s Cabinet to put a hold on a 2016 agreement to expand an egalitarian prayer plaza at the Western Wall and a pending Knesset bill that would consolidate power over conversions performed in Israel under the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate.

“Like our Jewish constituents we believe are and must remain am echad, one people united by history and faith,” said the letter, signed by all but three of the 21 Jewish Democrats in the House. There are also two Jewish Republicans in the body.

The letter echoes a similar plea from seven Jewish U.S. senators sent earlier this month to Netanyahu.

It is rare for U.S. lawmakers to comment on internal Israeli politics, especially unrelated to national security or military affairs.




    NY-12 Candidate Forum


    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

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