CJP is profoundly disappointed by the Government of Israel’s decision to freeze the creation of a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall. We were also dismayed to learn that the government is advancing legislation that would centralize all conversions with the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate.
These decisions have the potential to drive a wedge between the Jewish State and Diaspora Jewry, as the vast majority of American Jews identify as Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist or “just Jewish.”
Moreover, as programs like Birthright, Honeymoon Israel, MASA, Onward Israel, and many others bring unprecedented numbers of American Jews to Israel, the Jewish identity of American Jews and Israelis are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent.
The Western Wall belongs to all of us. It is not the sole domain of any one political party or religious denomination. It is a place for peoples of all faiths – or no faith – to stand in prayer and contemplation, bound together by the love, hopes, fears and aspirations shared by all human beings.
CJP urges the Israeli government to uphold the integrity of Jewish peoplehood by restoring the agreement of One Wall for One People, and welcoming all denominations to enjoy the freedom of practicing their faith. We further call on the government to reverse its decision to cement an ultra-Orthodox monopoly on conversions.