Disappointment and frustration” characterized the mood at the end of Wednesday’s high-level meeting on a planned pluralistic prayer pavilion at the Western Wall with top Liberal Jewish leaders at the Prime Minister’s Office, said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement after the meeting saying that he continues to work on the issue and is committed to resolving the matter. Netanyahu attended about a third of the 90-minute meeting.
Jacobs said he expected to see progress in a matter of weeks. “There is a deep concern, bordering on disbelief, that this deal may not be implemented,” Jacobs said. […]
Jacobs flew to Israel for this meeting with American Conservative movement leaders Rabbi Julie Schonfeld and Rabbi Steven Wernick, and Jewish Federations of North America head Jerry Silverman. They were at the table with Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, Women of the Wall head Anat Hoffman, Israeli Reform movement leader Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Israeli Masorti movement head Yizhar Hess and the federations’ Israel and overseas head Rebecca Caspi. Netanyahu were there for about half an hour. […]
Wednesday’s “emergency” 90-minute session took place to coincide with the end of a 60-day extension requested by Netanyahu who had called for a new fact-finding task force on the issue of the pluralistic plaza, headed by chief of staff David Sharan.
Although Netanyahu reportedly “reiterated his commitment to the coalition agreement,” the Diaspora negotiating team found an utter lack of progress in its implementation, said Jacobs.