Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Western Wall Rabbi Apologizes for Turning Away Woman in Kippah

The rabbi of the Western Wall apologized that a woman was turned away from the holy site for wearing a kippah, but said he was not familiar with the incident.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said in a statement issued Tuesday that if the incident did occur, the response was incorrect.

Rabinovitch also said that the Israel Police have not reported such an incident involving a woman identified by the Women of the Wall group only as Linda, a recently arrived American yeshiva student.

“If there was an incident of this kind, Western Wall officials were wrong to prevent Linda from entering,” the rabbi said. “The Western Wall is open to all men and women. I give my sincere apologies and the apologies of my staff to Linda and hope you return soon to visit the Western Wall.”

Women of the Wall on Monday said in a Facebook post under the heading “Breaking News” that Linda was prevented by security guards from entering the Western Wall plaza because she was wearing a kippah. She refused to accompany a guard to the nearby police station and instead was escorted to the taxi stand outside the Kotel, Women of the Wall said.

The rabbi expressed his regret over the “atmosphere of suspicion and distrust” at the Kotel as a result “of the struggles of Women of the Wall; an atmosphere that is harming many worshippers, Linda among them.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.