Sharansky plans new egalitarian prayer section at kotel – Cartoon of the Day

Natan Sharansky’s proposal for a new egalitarian section at the Kotel (see article below) is the inspiration for the latest Mike Report Cartoon of the Day.

Sharansky Plan

Sharansky in N.Y. offers plan for egalitarian prayer site at Western Wall

April 9, 2013

NEW YORK (JTA) – Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky reportedly presented a plan to Jewish leaders in New York calling for a permanent egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.

The proposal, first reported by the Forward on Tuesday and later shared by Sharansky with The New York Jewish Week, would turn an archaeological site adjacent to the main Western Wall plaza into a permanent place of egalitarian worship.

Egalitarian prayer is now allowed at the site, near Robinson’s Arch, but only at specific times. Under the proposal, the plaza would be expanded to encompass the additional prayer space, which is at the southern part of the Western Wall.

In a short statement released after Tuesday’s meeting, Sharansky did not divulge any details of his plan.

“One Western Wall for one Jewish people,” Sharansky said. “In this way, the Kotel will once again be a symbol of unity among the Jewish people, and not one of discord and strife.”

Jerry Silverman, CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, who attended the meeting, refused to go into detail about Sharansky’s proposal, saying it had yet to be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approval.

Women’s prayer at the Western Wall has been a contentious issue for years. Anat Hoffman, director of the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center and head of Women of the Wall, has led a campaign aimed at permitting women to recite prayers in a women’s minyan at the Kotel. Orthodox groups have vigorously opposed such an accommodation, saying it constitutes a violation of Jewish law, and Sharansky’s plan likely would face stiff opposition from Orthodox groups. READ THE REST.