UJIA response to prayer spaces decision

June 26, 2017

Following the decision yesterday by the Israeli cabinet concerning prayer spaces at the Western Wall, we would like to bring your attention to this statement by Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, which we strongly support. The Jewish Agency is UJIA’s main partner in the UK for our Israel Experience Programmes and also the Israeli Shlichim and Shinshinim who serve the Jewish Youth Movements, UJS and local communities. We also work with the Jewish Agency on our Partnership Programmes with schools and the Ethiopian Bar/Bat Mitzvah Programme. Finally, we support several Jewish Agency Projects in Israel that work with vulnerable communities.

 

Bill Benjamin, Chairman                   Michael Wegier, Chief Executive

 

Statement by Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky on the Suspension of the Western Wall Agreement.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky has released the following statement:

As Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and on behalf of our partners, I must express my deep disappointment at today’s decision by the Government of Israel to suspend the implementation of its own decision to establish a dignified space for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall. Five years ago, the Prime Minister asked me to lead a joint effort to bring about a workable formula that would transform the Western Wall into, in his own words, ‘one wall for one people.’ After four years of intense negotiations, we reached a solution that was accepted by all major denominations and was then adopted by the government and embraced by the world’s Jewish communities. Today’s decision signifies a retreat from that agreement and will make our work to bring Israel and the Jewish world closer together increasingly more difficult. The Jewish Agency nevertheless remains staunchly committed to that work and to the principle of one wall for one people.