Western Wall

Sharansky's Wall Plan Gets Green Light

04/22/2013

JERUSALEM -- Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky was given a green light by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pursue his plan for a permanent egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.

Free To Go

Arrested after morning prayers, Women of the Wall are released by a judge without charges or conditions.

04/11/2013

Five women were detained by Jerusalem police for wearing prayer shawls at a Women of the Wall service at the Western Wall, but a judge later said there was no cause for arresting them, and released them, according to a statement from Women of the Wall, a group that agitates for women's prayer rights at the holy site.

Women were arrested during morning services, but a judge dismissed the police's complaint. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Sharansky Plan For Equal Prayer At Kotel Moving Forward

Historic proposal would be a major victory for pluralism.

04/09/2013
Editor and Publisher

Charged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a Solomonic solution to the growing controversy over women’s prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, Natan Sharansky, the chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has prepared a bold and grand plan to allow any and all Jews to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Women's Right To Say Kaddish In Question At Kotel

Confronted by Sharansky, rabbi says arrests won't happen -- but police say rabbi has no authority.

04/05/2013
Staff Writer

Women who want to say the Mourner’s Kaddish at the Western Wall were threatened with arrest in a recent letter from the Israeli police to a women’s rights group, but both Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who runs the government body that oversees holy sites like the wall, say it will not happen.

In February, 10 women were arrested after morning prayers at the Western Wall. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Oddly Peaceful Prayers

Joined by female MKs and supported by celebrities, Women of the Wall crosses a ‘tipping point.’ Is Barbra next?

03/12/2013
Israel Correspondent

On Tuesday, Rosh Hodesh Nissan, members of the group Women of the Wall and their supporters gathered, as they do at the start of every Jewish month, at the back of the Western Wall’s women’s section.

For the first time in almost 2 years, Israeli police did not detain Women of the Wall participants. Michele Chabin

The Wall For All

02/15/2013

President Obama is now set to visit Israel in March. I’m sure he has a busy itinerary filled with many important meetings with many important people. Yet, in my dreams, I like to imagine that he would have an opportunity to sit down with a particularly important person: Anat Hoffman, of the Israel Religious Action Center, and chairwoman of Women of the Wall.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

UPDATE: Ten Women Detained At Western Wall

Women were wearing prayer shawls in violation of Wall regulations, police say.

02/11/2013
Staff Writer

(Adds comment from detained female rabbi, further comment from Jewish Agency)

Ten women were detained at the Western Wall on Monday, the highest number held at one time amid a spate of similar incidents in recent months, according to a press release from Women of the Wall, a Jerusalem-based group that has been agitating for more than 20 years for the right of women to pray audibly as a group at the Wall.

Ten women were arrested Monday for praying at the Wall in prayer shawls. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall by Michal Fattal

The Diaspora's Frustration With Israel: A Good Thing

American Jews absolutely love to speak and behave as though what we think should have immediate practical and political bearing in Israel.

Women of the Wall, which agitates for prayer rights at the Kotel, has much American support. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Let's Disagree, But Not Dismiss

The end of 2012 saw an increase in arrests of women at the Western Wall who demand the right to pray there in groups, out loud and wearing prayer shawls and tefilin.

Visitors to the Western Wall leave written prayers as well. Getty Images

Will Western Wall Be ‘Source Of Unity?’

Jewish Agency tasked with studying demands of women who want right to pray at holy site.

12/26/2012
Staff Writer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and chairman of the Jewish Agency, to study the issue of women’s prayer at the Western Wall and to help the government turn the wall into a “source of Jewish unity, rather than division,” an agency spokesman told the Jewish Week.

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