Hadassah

Hadassah Statement on Kotel Expansion Plan

Monday, Sep 12 2016

On September 12, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing to assess progress on the plan to expand the Kotel/Western Wall plaza. In January, Hadassah applauded the historic decision—voted on and approved by the Israeli Government—to expand the plaza to accommodate a space for egalitarian prayer not under the supervision of the orthodox Western Wall Administrator. We thanked the Israeli Government and Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky for their leadership and commitment to diverse prayer at the Kotel, and their inclusion of Diaspora Jewry in these important discussions.

During the last eight months, there has been little progress towards implementation, while women donning talitot and carrying Torah scrolls continue to face intolerance and negativity.

As the President of the largest women's Zionist organization, I am heartened to see the High Court's attention and inquiry into this issue. Approval of the plaza expansion plan was a major step forward for religious pluralism, and the preservation of Jewish unity. We hope this hearing will lead to swift progress— ensuring that Judaism's holiest site is accessible to all Jews.

Hadassah has long advocated that the Kotel remain a source of cohesion for world Jewry, rather than one of division. Hadassah leaders and members have been vocal and active advocates—from the U.S. and on the ground in Jerusalem—for everyone's right to pray, individually and collectively, freely, and in accordance with their own religious practices.

Comments

From: Phenie on December 13, 2016
Prayer is the right and privilege of all people. No one including women esp. Jewish women should not be denied that right. Women ARE IMBUED with special duties; to teach, care for the physical needs of our children, nuture their faith. They have earned the right to pray as and where they wish. I am sure there would be no divine problem with offered pray from any site. So why should there be any human one.
From: gail on November 18, 2016
Visiting the wall three years ago I watched as soldiers arrested woman who donned a tallis. at the same time ultra orthodox man were screaming at the women. As an American woman I was deeply hurt for the women.
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