Western Wall suit to come before Israel’s Supreme Court in July

Religious Jewish women which are part of the Women of the Wall organization wear tfillin (prayer shawls) and tallit as they read from the Torah and pray at Robinson’s Arch, at the south end of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. WOW is one of the organizations that would be affected by the Israel government’s decision to suspend its historic 2016 agreement to build an egalitarian worship space at Robinson’s Arch. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

The Israeli Supreme Court will hold a hearing in July on the status of the non-Orthodox section of the Western Wall.The court will convene July 30 to discuss a petition from last year calling on the Israeli government to implement the Western Wall compromise passed in January 2016, according to Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, one of the parties to the petition.

In October, the court postponed a ruling on the petition to allow the government time to formulate a response.
On Sunday, the government voted to suspend most of the compromise. The compromise would have expanded the non-Orthodox prayer section south of the main Western Wall plaza, created a shared entrance to all prayer areas and appointed an interdenominational council to oversee the non-Orthodox section.

Sunday’s vote suspends the agreement but calls for accelerating the expansion of the non-Orthodox prayer area, though the timeline and dimensions of the expansion are unclear.

According to Hoffman, the government has until July 12 to give the court a response to the petition. Along with Women of the Wall, the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are party to the petition.


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