Tag: Western Wall

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and other Reform leaders pushed and shoved by Western Wall security

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Rick Jacobs and other Reform Jewish leaders were pushed, pulled and had clothes torn by security guards as they tried to pray at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem.

The guards and haredi Orthodox worshippers tussled with the group Thursday as it entered the main entrance to the Western Wall plaza with Torah scrolls. The guards said it was illegal to bring the scrolls into the main plaza. Reform leaders accused the haredi administration of the holy site, which employs the guards, of denying their right to freedom of prayer.

Jacobs said that during the…

Federations rally around pluralism — but wish they didn’t have to

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Leaders of North America’s Jewish federation movement kicked off their annual conference here Sunday with a tribute to the 1987 march on Washington that brought out hundreds of thousands of people in support of Soviet Jews.

The film and testimonials by refuseniks were moving, but felt a little like those perennial tributes by the New York Mets to their 1986 championship team: a reminder not only of what was, but what’s gone.

The rescue of Soviet Jews and their resettlement here and in Israel was a high point for the network of Jewish philanthropies and…

It’s Jew vs. Jew as Congress weighs a new definition for anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish and pro-Israel leaders exchanged heated remarks at a Congressional hearing on how to define anti-Semitism.

Tuesday’s hearing of the House Judiciary Committee took up a bill that would, among other things, define as anti-Semitism language that “demonizes” Israel.

Of the nine witnesses addressing the committee, five said the language was necessary to stem anti-Semitism on campuses. Four argued it infringes on freedom of speech.

The witnesses at times directly addressed one another, violating congressional protocol. Barbs were exchanged, with each side questioning the bona fides of the other in defining anti-Semitism. In a bizarre…

‘One wall for one people,’ Sharansky says during visit to Western Wall’s egalitarian section

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish Agency for Israel remains committed to the principle “one wall for one people,” Natan Sharansky said during a visit to the Western Wall.

Reiterating his support for an agreement that would have formalized a prayer section outside the control of the Wall’s current Orthodox authorities, Sharansky, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, visited the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on Monday.

He was accompanied by a delegation of dozens of members of the Jewish Agency’s board of governors, from around the world.

The Israeli government in June suspended the…

Netanyahu to appear via satellite at Jewish Federations’ General Assembly

(JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual General Assembly next month via satellite on the last day of the conference.

Netanyahu will be interviewed live from Israel, as he was  last year. He appeared in person at the 2013 and 2015 General Assemblies and by satellite in 2014 and last year.

The General Assembly will be held in Los Angeles Nov. 12 to Nov. 14.

Reports last week said that an address by Netanyahu had not been confirmed, which was considered unusual that close to the event.

“We are thrilled to…