Women of the Wall at the Kotel
Women of the Wall at the KotelHadas Parush/Flash 90

Controversy over the matter of Reform and Conservative services at the Western Wall has flared up again today.

Reform and Conservative activists arrived at the Western Wall this morning (Thursday) to hold mixed-gender prayers, and clashed with haredi protesters.

According to an Army Radio report, members of the 'Women of the Wall' organization had arrived earlier and smuggled a Torah scroll into the women's section, where they held a mixed prayer service in opposition to the generally accepted norm at the Wall.

Gilad Kariv, the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, (IMPJ), declared that the fight for changing the norms of prayer at the Wall will continue with full force, and told media that the organization is going to petition the Supreme Court on Sunday to rule against the position of the Religious Services Ministry Attorney General who had prohibited the mixed services at the Wall.

"Unfortunately we will have to petition the Supreme Court, and we have no intention to relinquish our right to bring hundreds of Reform and Conservative Jews to the Wall for gatherings of song, Torah study, and personal prayer," Kariv stated.

Yesterday, Religious Services Ministry Attorney General Yisrael Pat released a letter making clear that mixed-gender prayers at the Western Wall are prohibited.