Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Reform Rabbi Makes Fresh Push for Mixed Prayer at Western Wall

JERUSALEM — The head of the U.S. Reform movement led egalitarian prayers at the Western Wall plaza.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, on Monday held the prayer service with some 200 rabbis and lay leaders. Most were participating in a summer seminar at the Shalom Hartman Institute, a pluralist educational organization.

The service was in support of the efforts by a group of allies including the Reform Movement, Women of the Wall, the Conservative Movement, and the Jewish Federations of North America to change the status quo at the Kotel to allow for a pluralistic prayer space, the Union for Reform Judaism said in a statement.

Following the service, Jacobs called for the decision of the Israeli government made in January to establish a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall to be implemented.

Jacobs told the group: “The Jews of the world saw in this decision that the government of Israel said, ‘you are at home; you may live in Netanya, Toronto, Argentina, but this is your home.’ We have got to get this unstuck; we have to express to the government that we really mean what we say,” Rabbi Jacobs stressed.

“With our proposed change–in favor of which the government ruled–every single day there will be groups of Jews from around the world who will come to this place and not feel like  visitors, quietly and meekly taking our place-but in full voice, be who we are, saying ‘this too, is our place.’”

Late last month, a group of Orthodox Jewish organizations filed a petition with Israel’s Supreme Court to the establishment of the egalitarian section.

A similar service was held at the Western Wall plaza last month. During that service, the worshippers clashed with haredi Orthodox men at the site.  

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.