Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Labor party Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai.

Leaders of Reform and Conservative Jewish organizations gathered Monday morning in the Knesset to establish a “Freedom of Religion” lobby dedicated to the “pluralization” of the Western Wall, among other projects.

The lobby is set to pressure the Israeli government to recognize their movements and implement changes to the Western Wall that were frozen during the previous government through the efforts of hareidi-religious ministers.


Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai, who was present at the meeting of the new lobby, said at the event that previous plans to change the layout at the Western Wall will be reapproved following the passage of the national budget.

“The night before my inauguration to the government I went to pray at the Western Wall. I also visited the southern egalitarian plaza. On the day I took office, I spoke with the leaders of the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams [of Judaism]. To me, everyone is equal,” he said.

“Today I applaud the opening of the Lobby for Freedom of Religion and Jewish Pluralism. The Ministry of Diaspora is committed to advancing the issue in Israel and in the Jewish world in general,” he added. “It’s a new time.”

Transportation Minister Meirav Michaeli said that the one day they will again need to liberate the Kotel from the Hareidim.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.