Ryan Torok, jewishjournal.com
Western Wall image from articleExcerpt:
In the wake of the Israeli government’s historic announcement on Sunday, Jan. 31, that a new, expanded egalitarian prayer space would be opened up at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, spoke to the press from Pasadena. The new section could take two years to create, but will reportedly accommodate as many as 1,200 people and will be accessible through the Wall’s main plaza for use by all genders and denominations together. Previously, the Kotel – the Hebrew name for the Western Wall – was run under Orthodox rule and had allowed only for separate prayer spaces for men and women. It also did not allow women to read from Torah or wear tallits. The existing Orthodox sections will remain in place. ...
Maya Kadosh, consul for public diplomacy and culture at the Consulate General of Israel, Los Angeles, said she welcomed the vote by the Israeli Cabinet.
“All the partners here [the Israeli cabinet members, the Jewish Agency for Israel and others] came together, so people will see the Jewish people is trying to be united on an issue,” she said in an interview. “I’m really glad it’s happening.”