New York, NY, November 2, 2016 … Reacting to tensions today at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for the implementation of the January 2016 agreement by the Israeli cabinet to establish a permanent and official space for mixed gender prayer at Judaism’s holiest site.
“The tension demonstrates yet again the urgent need to establish the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, to which the Israeli government is committed,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL’s Israel Office. “The cabinet’s decision earlier this year was an important milestone in ensuring that every Jews has a place to pray in his or her own way.”
The leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements from around the world and Israel, along with the Women of the Wall and others, marched on the first day (Rosh Chodesh) of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to the Kotel carrying Torah scrolls, in protest against the failure to implement the government decision to allocate a special space for egalitarian prayer.
For the first time, the groups entered the area with the Torah scrolls without being arrested by the police. During the march and prayer, clashes took place between this group and members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.