Women for the Wall, a grassroots organization committed to preserving the consensus of those praying at the Western Wall Plaza and maintaining the sanctity of the Holy Site, calls on Women of the Wall to show leadership through action by eschewing conflict and moving its prayers to the new Ezrat Yisrael section at the Western Wall immediately.
Women of the Wall announced today that the organization will move to the new section only after “all of their conditions and specifications are met” and not before the construction is completed. Media outlets have reported that their conditions include making Anat Hoffman the chair of the governing body of the new section, and requiring equal space and equal budget with the current plaza, which is used by millions of Jews each year.
“If Women of the Wall want to become the agents of change, they should do so through action, not pronouncements, by moving to the new plaza immediately,” said Leah Aharoni, co-founder of Women For the Wall. “The divisiveness at the Kotel hurts all of us, the entire Jewish People, and the faster it comes to an end the better. We find it beyond comprehension that a small organization that can barely muster up 100 women once a month for a prayer service should presume to dictate terms and conditions for the use of the holiest site of Jewish tradition to millions of Jews around the world.”
On Friday, Women of the Wall chose to interject themselves among 15,000 men and women who came out to pray for the health of the recently departed Rav Ovadia Yosef, of blessed memory, and to disturb the services with their own chazzanit with a microphone, leading the splinter group in loud singing.
“Women of the Wall have been making statements in support of the Sharansky proposal for the past year, all the while putting up untenable preconditions and continuing a pattern of deliberate provocation and disturbance,” said Ronit Peskin, co-founder of Women for the Wall. “We would be delighted for this unfortunate situation to come to an end, but WOW must prove their sincere intent behind their diplomatic language.”