JERUSALEM – Leaders of liberal Jewish movements in the United States and Israel have rallied for equal prayer rights at a Jewish holy site despite a plea from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to push the matter publicly.
The heads of Reform and Conservative movements held prayers Wednesday at the Western Wall, demanding Israel finally implement a government decision to officially establish a mixed-gender prayer area at the site. The Western Wall is a remnant of the biblical temple complex and the holiest site where Jews can pray.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews scuffled with the group.
An official with the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency says that Netanyahu told Jewish leaders on Tuesday the issue was best resolved quietly. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to media.