Today IRAC and the IMPJ organized a joint service at the Kotel for the Board of Governors and the students of the Hebrew Union College. We expected to be able to enter the Western Wall Complex with our Torah Scrolls. Instead we were greeted with contempt and violence.

Upon approaching the gate Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Reform Movement in America, and our very own Anat Hoffman were shouted at by a guard who blocked our entry and tried everything within his power to humiliate us. He even threatened us by shoving mace in our faces. Despite this thuggery we finally managed to enter the sacred space with our Torah scrolls still safely in our arms.

This violence and intimidation comes just two days after the Prime Minister of Israel stated publicly at the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly, here in Jerusalem, that all Jews are welcome in Israel. The Government can’t claim the diaspora is key to Israel’s future on Tuesday and then verbally and physically assault its leaders on Thursday.

Let me close by saying that we here in Israel are grateful and inspired by our North American partners from the HUC Board of Governors for standing with us today. Together we will continue to make our presence known at the Kotel and continue to fight for religious freedom.

Please support our work for equality at the Western Wall.