Call for the Prevention of Bloodshed and Immediate Implementation of the “Kotel Agreement”

To:

  • Mr. Isaac Herzog, President
  • MK Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister
  • MK Yair Lapid, Alternate Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Minister Matan Kahana, Minister of Religious Services
  • Mr. Shalom Shlomo, Cabinet Secretary

Dear Sirs,

Subject: Call for the Prevention of Bloodshed and Immediate Implementation of the “Kotel Agreement”

We, the leadership and leaders of the Masorti movement in Israel and around the world, call on you – our elected officials – to act immediately to implement the outline of the Western Wall Agreement, in accordance with Government Resolution 1075 of 31.01.2016. This is all the more necessary in light of the real threats to the Women of the Wall, who are scheduled to pray tomorrow (Friday, Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5742) as every Rosh Chodesh, at the Western Wall.

The incidents of violence in recent months at the Kotel must be seen as a red flag before more serious incidents of violence and even bloodshed occur.

The violence directed against the Women of the Wall and egalitarian prayers in the Kotel plaza have reached new heights with every passing month. On Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, Siddurim were torn apart by crowds incited to violence and by calls that can only be described as anti-Semitism; On the 9th of Av, the prayers of the streams in the Ezrat Yisrael / Egalitarian section of the Kotel, were interrupted by shouts and incitement by girls and boys who were brought especially to halt the prayers of Jews on this day of fasting for the destruction of the Temples. All of this is in addition to the incitement and the calls of Knesset members from the ultra-Orthodox factions, rabbis and public figures, who have called for harming our members, who only seek to pray in keeping with our custom at the Western Wall, and harm toward MK Rabbi Gilad Kariv.

Please, it is in your power to prevent bloodshed and blasphemy in this place sacred to the entire Jewish people. Announce today the full and immediate implementation of the approved agreement – also accepted by the ultra-Orthodox Knesset members and the Head of Holy sites. Announce, unequivocally, that the Western Wall is not a place for quarrels and violence, that there is no place for harming the Women of the Wall who wish to pray as they have been doing for so many years each month

Honored officials, we appeal to you – this is not a political matter but a real Matter of Pikuach Nefesh. We call upon you to immediately announced the implementation of the Western Wall Agreement.

Sincerely,

  • Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO, USCJ and the Rabbinical Assembly
  • Rabbi Prof. Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and Zacharias Frankel College
  • Rabbi Mikie Goldstein, President, the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel
  • Rabbi Jennifer Gorman, Executive Director, MERCAZ-Canada
  • Rabbi Mauricio Balter, Executive Director Masorti & MERCAZ Olami
  • Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President, The Schechter Institutes, Inc.
  • Rabbi Ariel Stofenmacher, Rector, Latin American Rabbinical Seminary
  • Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
  • Rakefet Ginsberg, CEO, Masorti Israel
  • Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Rabbi Avi Novis-deutsch, Dean, Schechter Rabbinical Seminary
  • Rabbi Irina Gritsevskaya, Executive Director, Midreshet Schechter
  • Sarrae G. Crane, Executive Director, MERCAZ USA
  • Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg, Chief Operating Officer, the Rabbinical Assembly Chief Program Officer, USCJ

Minister: Reviving Western Wall compromise is on cabinet agenda, backed by PM

A proposal to revive the so-called Western Wall compromise, which guarantees a formal role for Reform and Conservative Judaism in the oversight of a permanent pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall, has been placed on the cabinet agenda and is widely backed in the governing coalition, Nachman Shai, the minister for Diaspora affairs, said Tuesday.

The arrangement, negotiated between Israel and Diaspora leaders over more than three years, was approved by the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government in 2016, but indefinitely suspended by Netanyahu in 2017, under pressure from his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners …

Read the full story at The Times Of Israel here.