A knife was placed at the synagogue’s entrance, along with three envelopes bearing the names of Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the US-based president of the Union for Reform Judaism; and Anat Hoffman, head of the Women of the Wall.
This act of vandalism was a response to the Women of the Wall’s legal battle to open Jerusalem’s Western Wall to non-Orthodox prayer services. Although the Reform is the biggest Jewish movement in America, in Israel it is a small minority with only some 55 synagogues across the country.
The Women of the Wall have been conducting monthly services just outside the Western Wall’s fenced plaza, donning the traditionally male attire of prayer shawls and tefillin (phylacteries). This is seen as provocation by Orthodox Jews visiting the holy site.
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