Contentious Mixed Gender Prayer Service in Western Wall Plaza Planned

Israeli members of the liberal Jewish religious group Women of the Wall wear 'Tallit', traditional Jewish prayer shawls for men, as they pray at the Western Wall plaza outside the women's section in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 24, 2016, after they were banned from conducting the first-ever' women's priestly …

The Jerusalem Post reports: The Reform and Masorti (Conservative) Movements announced on Wednesday that they would hold a mixed-gender prayer service in the upper plaza of the Western Wall on Thursday.

Members of the Women of the Wall prayer rights group will also be participating in the prayer service, although WoW as an organization will not be formally praying in the egalitarian service since the organization is not a mixed prayer group. A representative of WoW said that the event has its full backing.

The afternoon prayer service will take place in the area of the Western Wall Plaza behind the separate men and women’s sections of the site adjacent to the wall itself.

The prayer service is likely to generate intense opposition from the haredi leadership and community, as well as elements in the national-religious community, which fiercely oppose mixed-gender prayer at the Western Wall and state recognition of the progressive Jewish denominations.

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