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Women of the Wall members protest board’s decision

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Ten longtime members of Women of the Wall are protesting the organization’s agreement to meet at Robinson’s Arch if certain conditions are met.

In a public statement Oct. 11, the protesting members said the Women of the Wall board betrayed the group’s fundamental mission with its decision earlier in the week.

“We remain committed to the Kotel, the place sanctified by the memory, prayers and hopes of Jews for 2,000 years,” read the statement, using the wall’s Hebrew name. “We remain unalterably committed to the right of all Jewish women to pray together in the ezrat nashim [women’s section] at the Kotel with tallit and tefillin, reading from the Torah scroll.”

The board had decided by majority vote to agree in principle to pray at the Robinson’s Arch area next to the Western Wall Plaza should the government meet several of the group’s demands.

Until then, the group, which meets at the beginning of each Jewish month for a prayer service in the women’s section of the Western Wall, will continue praying in the women’s section.

The pushback against the group’s decision has exposed significant divisions within Women of the Wall — between advocates of pragmatism and pure ideology, between activists in Israel and North America, and between the group’s current and past leaders. All but two of the opposing statement’s 10 signatories live in the United States and Canada. — jta


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