Government Approves Egalitarian Space at the Kotel

After years of struggle, the government decided yesterday to create an area at the Western Wall that would not be controlled by the Orthodox rabbinate and which could accommodate men and women praying together. Creating an egalitarian prayer space in this holy place is an historical precedent and a great achievement for Women of the Wall, the Masorti Movement, and for the Israel Religious Action Center.

In the words of Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive-Director of the Reform movement in Israel: “This resolution gives unprecedented recognition to Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel, puts an end to the monopoly at the Kotel and clearly states that at the holiest site to the Jewish people, and anywhere else, there is more than one way to pray and connect to Jewish tradition.”

While the decision has come under criticism from some who feel the new arrangement separates the community and others who feel that their freedom of worship is still stifled by the Rabbanut’s exclusive control of the segregated space, it is still a significant decision, notable for considerably improving the situation of Israel’s non-Orthodox religious movements.

We are proud to support those who are continuing to strive for full religious freedom in Israel.

To read more about the new egalitarian space, go here.

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February 2016