SA Progressives ‘appalled’ by attack at Kotel

  • Bobroff Sydney water
The traditional Rosh Chodesh protest for egalitarian worship at the holiest Jewish site, the Western Wall (Kotel), saw Torah scrolls being taken to the women’s section last Wednesday morning, where they were met with pushing and shoving by charedi Orthodox worshippers. The women furthermore faced the indignation of a barrage of cries branding them “Nazis”, “goyim” and “whores”.
by ANT KATZ | Nov 10, 2016

In a joint statement by the chairman of the SA Union of Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ), Monica Solomon and Rabbi Greg Alexander, chairman of the SA Association of Progressive Rabbis (SAAPR), the organisation said it was “appalled by the aggressive attack on the leadership of our World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) and other organisations”.

Among the 200 people who were attacked at the Kotel were Reform, Progressive, Liberal and Conservative rabbis and leaders from around the world including ARZENU, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), Netzer and Women of the Wall, all led by the US Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ).

Forman Reeva

RIGHT: Also present was SA communal and Zionist leader Reeva Forman (more about that below).

The protest arose in response to continued delays by the Israeli government to implement changes to the Western Wall plaza and management that would render the holy site inclusive of egalitarian Reform and Conservative prayer groups, as has been suggested in a report by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had tasked with finding a solution. 

Solomon and Alexander issued a statement, expressing their anger about how their colleagues “were attacked and their sifrei Torah, grabbed as the security showed a lack of respect for the rabbis and leaders who wanted to pray in peace at the Western Wall, a religious site for all Jews, and a disrespect for the holy Torah and the holy site,” they said.

“We call once again on the Israeli government to fulfil its commitment to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel where all who wish to can pray and read Torah in peace,” they added.

Prominent South African Progressive Jew and Zionist, Reeva Foreman was at the Kotel at the time. Watch out on our website for a detailed interview with Reeva - including pictures she took and how she felt about it all.

Bobroff Oz house

Chaos at the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh


  1. 3 David B 11 Nov
    Isn't it strange how intolerant Jews can be?
    Yes it applies to most kinds , because, amazingly we have been given the ability to think.
    But the intolerance of the Charedi is no different, 'in principle' to the intolerance of al Quada, other than the AK47's and bombs -- 
  2. 2 Dr C D Goldberg 17 Nov
    This is both disgusting and disturbing that things like this can happen. When it comes to the murder and discrimination of the Jewish People, the perpetrators make no distinctions whatsoever, why are Jews doing this? Jews when divided suffer more, and need to unite. There is no place for childish behavior in this regard. Jews must be free to choose to decide what branch of Judaism they wish to belong to, and should where possible abide the rules and regulations including customs of that branch of Judaism.  
  3. 1 nat cheiman 20 Nov
    I agree with both above. We are Jews and thats all that matters


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