August 25, 2013, New York, NY-- In response to Minister of Religious
Affairs Naftali Bennett's announcement today regarding upgrades at the
Kotel, the Reform Movement released the following statement:
Kotel is a powerful symbol of the Jewish yearning for Israel and for
the unity of the Jewish people. As such, it needs to be open and free to
all Jews; women and men must be treated equally there.
precisely why we joined together with Jews from across the religious
spectrum to endorse a plan by Jewish Agency Chairperson Natan Sharansky
which, in its entirety, promises full equality for all streams of
Judaism at the Kotel.
The temporary platform unveiled today by
Minister of Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett, is a gesture of good
will, but it is, at best, a very small step forward in the
implementation of the full plan for full Jewish equality at the Kotel.
Were it to be the first and last step regarding the Kotel, it would
create a painful and unnecessary conflict within the Jewish People.
urge the Prime Minister's office to maintain its commitment to the
Sharansky proposal consistent with a partnership with all key
In the meantime, the Reform Movement insists that
no changes will be made in the current legal situation allowing Women of
the Wall to pray according to their custom in the Western Wall site.
hope and pray that 5774 will be a year of ever deepening partnership
between the State of Israel and World Jewry in insuring that in
Judaism's holiest place there is room for each and every member of our
people to pray freely and openly. May that spirit of respect and
inclusion permeate daily life in the Jewish State and in our communities
all across the globe."
ARZA ARZA Canada ARZENU Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) Women's Rabbinic Network (WRN) World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)