To the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai,
CJV Israel is comprised of Anglo-Israeli rabbis affiliated with Coalition for Jewish Values, a U.S. based global organization of over 2,500 rabbis dedicated to promoting traditional Torah values in public policy.
We deplore your decision to prohibit the use of a mechitzah to separate between men and women during the annual Yorn Kippur prayer services at Kikar Dizengoff sponsored by Rosh Yehudi. If implemented, the absence of a mechitzah will preclude public prayer in accordance with Jewish tradition, and effectively deprive thousands of Tel Aviv residents of the opportunity to participate in prayer services on the holy day of Yorn Kippur.
Far from being inclusive, this is blatant discrimination against the citizens of Tel Aviv, denying them the ability to use the public square available to other events of all kinds. It is coerced secularism, designed to deny Jews freedom of worship.
Worse, the fact that you permitted such separation of the sexes at a Muslim prayer service in Yaffo sponsored by the Islamic Movement celebrating the Eid this past June- and wish to ban a Yorn Kippur service for Jews- is disgraceful, rank hypocrisy of the lowest form, and will antagonize faithful Jews across the world. It is not lost on us that those who cry daily over the "death of democracy" in Israel are revealing themselves to be the real dictators.
Yorn Kippur is a time for mutual respect and brotherhood among all Jews, whatever level of observance they maintain. It is a day that brings together all Jews in love and tolerance. How sad that you would seek to trample on this sublime moment with such an expression of intolerance and hatred.
It is not too late to retract this evil declaration, and we urge you to do so immediately.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Director, Coalition for Jewish Values (Israel)
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, President, Coalition for Jewish Values (USA)
Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, Director, Coalition for Jewish Values (UK)