AJC Hails Israeli Supreme Court Decision on Women's Access to Western Wall

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC hails today's decision by Israel's Supreme Court affirming the rights of women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site.

The ruling, in response to three separate petitions submitted to the court, gives the government 30 days to come up with "good cause" why women should continue to be barred from chanting from Torah scrolls at the Wall; states that women may no longer be subjected to body searches aimed at discovering religious objects on their persons when approaching the Wall (standard security searches will continue); and that women's access to Robinson's Arch near the Wall does not constitute access to the Wall.     

AJC has long supported the right of women to pray unhindered at the Western Wall.

"The Supreme Court decision affirms two core principles shared by the great majority of American Jews: the Western Wall is the possession and national treasure of the entire Jewish people; and all Jews should be encouraged to connect with and express their appreciation of their Jewish heritage, here symbolized by the Wall," said Steven Bayme, Director of AJC's Contemporary Jewish Life Department. "Enabling greater numbers of Jews to connect with their Jewish identity in turn strengthens the Jewish people and the attachment of world Jewry to the Jewish State."

Bayme is currently in Israel co-leading a delegation of the Jewish Religious Equality Coalition (J-REC). Earlier today, several AJC leaders and J-REC members testified before a Knesset committee on the need for Jewish religious equality in Israel.

Created and led by AJC, J-REC is a broad-based coalition of American Jews and Israelis dedicated to the realization of full religious equality in the Jewish state, and is mobilizing support for the creation of alternatives to the Chief Rabbinate.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee


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