Israel says it will expand space for non-Orthodox prayer at Kotel despite freezing agreement

Is this government move only meant to stave off the backlash following the highly controversial decision to nix the plan for a mixed-sex prayer space at the Western Wall?

By JTA
July 18, 2017 04:42
1 minute read.
Youth hold their prayer shawls as they stand in front of the Western Wall, May 17, 2017.

Youth hold their prayer shawls as they stand in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayers site in Jerusalem's Old City May 17, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel's government told the nation’s Supreme Court that it plans to expand and upgrade a space for non-Orthodox prayer at the southern section of the Western Wall near Robinson’s Arch.

The government made the declaration in documents submitted to the court in response to a petition filed by the non-Orthodox Jewish movements and the Women of the Wall group that calls on the state to create the permanent space for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Haaretz reported that the government also asked the court to dismiss the case, since it has frozen an agreement that would have provided the permanent prayer space, equal access to the site from the Western Wall plaza and allowed the liberal groups to administer the area.

The Prime Minister’s Bureau already has allocated the more than $5 million needed to upgrade and improve the non-Orthodox prayer space, and said it will take 10 months to complete.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on July 30.

“We are not buying the substitute Kotel Agreement that the State is trying to sell to the Supreme Court,” Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall, said in a statement issued after the documents were filed.

“We hope that the Supreme Court will insist on our right to receive a prayer plaza in which we can pray according to our custom, whether by full implementation of the agreement, or by re-dividing the current prayer plaza into three sections: men’s, women’s and egalitarian.”


Israel freezes plan for mixed-sex Jewish prayer site at Western Wall (credit: REUTERS)

Related Content

Israeli scientists participate in an experiment simulating a mission to Mars
July 16, 2018
With millions more in funding, Israeli-US science research grows closer

By MAX SCHINDLER