Rabbi Rick Jacobs and other Reform leaders pushed and shoved by Western Wall security

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, center, and other non-Orthodox Jews clashing with security guards at the entrance to the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem, Nov. 16, 2017. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash 90)
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, center, and other non-Orthodox Jews clashing with security guards at the entrance to the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem, Nov. 16, 2017. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash 90)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, center, and other non-Orthodox Jews clashing with security guards at the entrance to the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem, Nov. 16, 2017. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Rabbi Rick Jacobs and other Reform Jewish leaders were pushed, pulled and had clothes torn by security guards as they tried to pray at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem.

The guards and haredi Orthodox worshippers tussled with the group Thursday as it entered the main entrance to the Western Wall plaza with Torah scrolls. The guards said it was illegal to bring the scrolls into the main plaza. Reform leaders accused the haredi administration of the holy site, which employs the guards, of denying their right to freedom of prayer. [Read more…]

Comment

Israel’s president plays peacemaker between his government and North American Jews

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shaking hands with Richard Sandler, board chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, at the group’s General Assembly in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 13, 2017. (Jeffrey Brown/JFNA)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shaking hands with Richard Sandler, board chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, at the group’s General Assembly in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 13, 2017. (Jeffrey Brown/JFNA)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shaking hands with Richard Sandler, board chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, at the group’s General Assembly in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 13, 2017.
(Jeffrey Brown/JFNA)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Reuven Rivlin played peacemaker Monday night – between North American Jews and Israelis.

Speaking at the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, Israel’s president sympathized with attendees’ complaints that Israel was ignoring their calls for religious pluralism there, but also urged patience with Israel’s political process. [Read more…]

Comment

Federation movement demands Israel reverse ‘divisive’ moves on Western Wall, conversion

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) called on Israel to reverse its “divisive and damaging” steps to freeze an agreement on egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall and its support of a bill that would grant a monopoly to Orthodox authorities in Israel over conversions to Judaism.

The JFNA’s board of trustees, representing Jewish communal philanthropies across the United States and Canada, passed the resolution Monday morning on the second day of the organization’s annual General Assembly here. [Read more…]

Comment

Women of the Wall says haredi Israeli lawmaker compared them to dogs

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Women of the Wall condemned a haredi Orthodox lawmaker in Israel who the group said compared non-Orthodox Jews to dogs at a Knesset committee meeting discussing the Western Wall plan.

Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in the United States, as well as other guests representing American and non-Orthodox groups, were on hand Wednesday for the meeting of the Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee. [Read more…]

Comment

‘One wall for one people,’ Sharansky says during visit to Western Wall’s egalitarian section

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Jewish Agency for Israel remains committed to the principle “one wall for one people,” Natan Sharansky said during a visit to the Western Wall.

Reiterating his support for an agreement that would have formalized a prayer section outside the control of the Wall’s current Orthodox authorities, Sharansky, chair of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, visited the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on Monday. [Read more…]

Comment

Egalitarian prayer supporters barred from entering Western Wall plaza

(JTA) – Security guards at the Western Wall prevented a group of men and women promoting gender-egalitarian prayer for accessing the holy site’s main plaza with a Torah scroll.

In the incident Friday, about 300 people were barred from entering the main plaza of the Western Wall while holding a Torah scroll, according to Women of the Wall, a group which is fighting for the lifting of regulations barring women from introducing Torah scroll to the site, singing aloud, wearing kippahs or praying with men. [Read more…]

Comment

Jewish U.S. senators urge Netanyahu to protect pluralism in Israel

Haredi Jews try to prevent a group of American Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound during a protest march in the Old City of Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Haredi Jews try to prevent a group of American Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound during a protest march in the Old City of Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

(JTA) – Bernie Sanders is among seven Jewish U.S. senators who sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to implement an agreement to expand an egalitarian prayer plaza at the Western Wall.

Netanyahu’s cabinet put a hold in June on the deal passed in 2016, drawing the ire of North American Jewish leaders. [Read more…]

Comment

Netanyahu says non-Orthodox Jews used Western Wall deal to gain recognition

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel of using their partnership in the Western Wall agreement as a clandestine way to gain recognition.

Netanyahu told reporters in New York on Monday night that the Reform and Conservative movements wanted to get recognition “via the backdoor, secretly, under the pretext of a technical clause of joint administration of the Western Wall,” Army Radio reporter Ilil Shahar said in a tweet. [Read more…]

Comment