J Street welcomes the announcement that the Israeli government has approved the creation of an enhanced egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
This decision represents a difficult and important compromise, reached after years of determined advocacy and negotiation by concerned citizens in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world. We congratulate Women of the Wall, the Reform and Conservative movements and the Jewish Federations of North America for their commitment to securing the right of all Jews to be able to worship at the Wall in accordance with their own beliefs and traditions.
In the words of Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall, the implementation of this compromise will mean that “We will be able to stand as part of living history, read the Torah, and pray in the spirit of pluralism and equality that we believe is critical to a vibrant Judaism.”
We commend the Israeli government for this decision, which is also an important step toward recognition of the legitimacy of the Reform and Conservative movements as representatives of millions of North American Jews. These movements and their allies continue to demonstrate that Israel’s supporters in Jewish communities around the world have an important role to play in helping to shape the country’s future.
This step forward shows that American Jews, when they organize and speak out in support of important values and concerns, can help to make Israel a more pluralistic and just society.