National Council of Jewish Women
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1901
New York, NY 10115
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2017, New York, NY – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to heed the Israeli Supreme Court’s suggestion at its hearing yesterday and as suggested “thaw” the frozen agreement on egalitarian worship at the Kotel. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman issued the following statement:
“The struggle over egalitarian access to the Western Wall is symbolic of the greater fight for religious choice and freedom in Israel and the growing influence of extreme religious encroachment into many aspects of Israeli life. Israelis have been challenged by increasing religious interference for many years and the majority of the American Jewish community wholeheartedly supports the struggle for religious choice and freedom.
Religious coercion has an especially detrimental impact on women, denying us full and equal access to religious and civic spaces. The majority of the Jewish community is committed to gender equality, and the Jewish homeland should reflect this commitment by accommodating all its members.
The concept of community is sacred in Jewish life, forged over thousands of years. We call on the Israeli government to respect this essential value and return to the carefully crafted compromise agreement which makes room for all types of worship at the Kotel. The statements of the Supreme Court also remind us of the paramount importance of the legal process in creating and sustaining community.
The approaching High Holidays are a time of reflection and Teshuva (returning), and the right time for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition allies to return to the previously negotiated Kotel agreement.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.