The new Jewish Identity Administration created by the Religious Services Ministry plans to run four programs, all apparently aimed at infusing religious values into the secular community.
Each of the programs will receive a budget of about 1.9 million shekels ($544,000) from the ministry, plus an equivalent amount from the organization chosen to run the project.
… the Masorti Movement sent a letter to Finance Minister Yair Lapid, demanding that he freeze funding for the Jewish Identity Administration.
On October 30, the movement wrote, Lapid’s office announced that the cabinet had agreed that the administration would include non-Orthodox Jewish movements, rather than only Orthodox ones. Yet the Religious Services Ministry has just given an Orthodox group responsibility for the “Judaism coordinators” project, without even issuing a tender, it protested.
During the past few days we have been in intensive contact with Government representatives. Last evening a difficult meeting took place with the Cabinet Secretary who is currently in Washington, DC with the Prime Minister.
Information we received indicates that various parties within the government who do not wish to see pluralism advanced at the Kotel are doing their best to sabotage an agreement between the Government and us, the Reform Movement and WOW.
At this moment, the situation is that we have received a promise that the Government shall take all necessary steps to prevent Elad from assuming authority over the site.
We received additional assurances that the final report to be presented by the Cabinet Secretary, which shall be adopted by the government and anchored in legal regulations, will clarify these matters.
The current WoW board took its decision without the due process required by Israeli NGO law—in violation of the registered and intended purposes of WoW to promote women's group public prayer in the women's section at the Kotel with Torah and tallit. [...]
... and [calls] upon the WoW Board to heed our request without delay to convene a general assembly of WoW to deliberate the fate of the Kotel and achieve a responsible decision for the sake of our daughters and grand-daughters.
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