Yom Sheini, 22 Iyyar 5779
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Liberal Judaism hails deal to create “egalitarian” prayer space at the Kotel

1 February 2016

Jewish Chronicle

A plan was approved on Sunday for a mixed-prayer space to be built at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The deal to create an area where men and women can pray together at the holiest site in Judaism, was described by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “an appropriate, creative solution”.

“I know that this is a sensitive issue, and yet I think that is an appropriate solution, a creative solution,” he said. “Usually the most complex issues demand this type of solution”.

The move comes after nearly 30 years of campaigning by various groups, including Reform and Conservative Judaism and Women of the Wall.

Women of the Wall spokeswoman Shira Pruce said the decision was a “revolution for women and Jewish pluralism in Israel”.

The area will be located at the south of the Western Wall Plaza, near Robinson’s Arch, the area of the Kotel where, in 2013, women were first allowed to wear prayer shawls while praying at the Wall.

The space, which will be accessible from the same entrance as the rest of the Wall, will be 9,700 sq ft and is estimated to provide space for around 1,200 people.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, said of the proposal: “This is a landmark decision for Jews throughout the globe. It recognises that Judaism is an inclusive religion with a variety of different but valid expressions.

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