The Western Wall: Reservations for Prayer at Ezrat Yisrael
The Western Wall in Jerusalem
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is the holiest site for Jews. For thousands of years, Jews dreamed of standing at this place and praying. The Kotel, or Western Wall, is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, on which the two Temples stood. Since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. the southern part of the Wall was covered with rubble and remained hidden until 1867, when archaeological excavations began there. “Robinson’s Arch” is located at the southern end of the Western Wall.
During the time of Herod, the arch served as an ancient overhead entrance. It enabled entrance to the Temple Mount, as well as providing access to the Cardo, the ancient Roman street located below. The Cardo served as a central axis for trade and the movement of pilgrims to Jerusalem. Today, the arch is part of the archeological site situated near the platform known as “Ezrat Yisrael”, which is open to all Jews who wish to pray or read from the Torah in an egalitarian setting.
Masorti runs and maintains the prayer space at “Ezrat Yisrael” making it possible to hold egalitarian prayer services and Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremonies with the entire family.
Currently, the prayer area consists of two temporary platforms. The Masorti Movement provides prayer books and Torah scrolls free of charge. The scrolls and prayer books are stored in a special holy ark located on the site.
The Masorti Movement gained access, in the year 2000, to conduct egalitarian prayer services for both men and women in the tradition and spirit of the Masorti Movement following a prolonged public struggle. An additional agreement was reached on January 31, 2016 to create and fund a permanent egalitarian prayer space under the explicit control of the Masorti Movement and its partners. This agreement has yet to be implemented by the government. If you want to help, email the prime minister and other leaders. Insist that they honor their January 2016 agreement now.
Guidelines for Worshipers
Jews who choose to pray at “Ezrat Yisrael” are invited to use one of the Masorti Movement’s Torah scrolls. Additionally, the prayer books “Ani Tfilati” in Hebrew and “Sim Shalom” in English are available for use during the service, free of charge, courtesy of the Masorti Movement.
The normal scheduled days for which you can make reservations for prayer services and ceremonies are Mondays, Thursdays, Rosh Chodesh or Hanukkah at 7:30 to 9:00, 9:00 to 10:30 or 10:30 to 12:00. However, if you wish to hold services on another weekday, we will be pleased to assist you.
You can request the use of the Torah scrolls and/or the prayer books when you make your reservation request. Click the button “prayer reservation form” which appears below. Fill in your details and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
A great resource for travel to Israel is our travel partner, Israel Tour Connection. Click here to visit their website.
A Western Wall That Is Open for Every Jew
The Masorti Movement gladly provides this service for worshipers wishing to pray at the Western Wall in a pluralistic and egalitarian manner. We believe that Jerusalem belongs to the entire Jewish People, including Jews with diverse practices, and therefore we offer our services to all Jews as long as they respect Masorti’s right to maintain the area as an egalitarian space.
Masorti is pleased to be able to provide egalitarian services at the Kotel to the Jewish community. Donations are appreciated and allow us to offer these services without charge.