Women of Wall, government reportedly near agreement

Women of the Wall is close to approving an agreement with the Israeli government to move the group’s monthly prayer service to a new egalitarian area.

A Jan. 27 report in the Israeli daily Haaretz notes that the agreement comes after months of negotiations between the organization and an Israeli government committee.

In October, the Women of the Wall presented 16 conditions under which the group would move its monthly prayer service to an egalitarian section of the Western Wall’s plaza now under construction. Taken together, the conditions mandate that the new section be treated as equal to the existing Western Wall plaza.

Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman said in a letter sent to the organization’s key supporters that a special government committee had agreed to most of the conditions, Haaretz reported.

The letter reportedly said the committee’s recommendations would be submitted to the Cabinet for approval in the coming weeks and that the egalitarian area would be ready in “a year or more.”

The site will have a mobile, temporary mechitzah, or separation structure, for the monthly prayer services since some of the members are Orthodox and do not pray with men, according to the letter. — jta