Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Pluralist Council Will Oversee Robinson’s Arch at Western Wall

The Robinson’s Arch plaza at the Western Wall will come under the control of a future government-appointed pluralist council.

Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett forged an agreement within the government on Thursday that would put the egalitarian prayer site in the hands of the council with non-Orthodox representation.

Last week, reports emerged that the government was going to transfer the plaza to the Ir David Foundation, a right-wing NGO that aims, in part, to settle Jews in the heavily Arab eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

“The Israel Plaza belongs to all of the Jewish people and will be run by the state of Israel and the council that will be established,” Bennett said, using his name for the Robinson’s Arch plaza. “I didn’t build the plaza for it to be transferred to a private organization.”

Robinson’s Arch is used by non-Orthodox groups as a prayer space, and last year Bennett ordered construction of a platform there for that purpose. The government is negotiating with the Israeli Reform and Conservative movements, along with women’s prayer group Women of the Wall, to expand the plaza.

The non-Orthodox movements protested the Ir David Foundation deal, as they said it reneged on a prior agreement with the government to place Robinson’s Arch in the hands of a future council with non-Orthodox representation. In the wake of the protest, Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit said he intended to block the Ir David Foundation deal.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

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.