Grand hall discovered underneath the Muslim Quarter of the Old City will now be used as an education center
Netanyahu: Western Wall belongs to all Jews
Prime minister promises Reform Jews that the Wall will stay a source of unity, not division
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ensured Reform Jews that the Western Wall belongs to all Jews, including Reform Jews.
During an address to the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2013 over satellite on Sunday, Netanyahu said that he was committed to making sure all Jews feel at home at Judaism's holiest site.
"Israel is and must continue to be the homeland of the entire Jewish people," he said. " That is the place where all Jews, including Reform Jews, experience nothing less than audacious hospitality."
“The Western Wall is in Israel, but it belongs to all of you, it belongs to you and to me, to all of us,” the prime minister said.
He promised to ensure that the Wall will stay a source of unity and not division and a place where all Jews can feel at home.
President of the Reform movement Rick Jacobs thanked Netanyahu for helping to secure an agreement with the Women of the Wall movement to set up an alternative section of the wall to be used for non-Orthodox prayer.
The issue of non-traditional methods of prayer at the Western Wall came to a head earlier this year when Women of the Wall members were met with violent protests when they turned up to pray at the Western Wall, some in prayer shawls and tefillin, even though a decision by the Jerusalem District Court in April made it legal.