Women of the Wall laid out several proposals on Sunday for a third, egalitarian congregational space at the Western Wall, demanding the new space be fully integrated into the current plaza.
Women of the Wall announced their updated positions ahead of a meeting with Government Secretary Avichai Mendelblit, saying they sought to change the face of international Jewry.
Anat Hoffman, chairman of the organization, which is celebrating this Rosh Hodesh its 25th anniversary fighting for a prayer space for women at the Western Wall and greater equality, said her group would continue holding services at the women's section of the Western Wall Plaza until the group's demands over the new space were met.
"These conditions are preconditions," she said. "Until the final one among them is agreed to and actually implemented, we will continue to pray in the women's section, safeguarding the right of women to pray freely at the holy site. The conditions we are laying forth are revolutionary for the whole Jewish nation. Only if the development [of the site] is completed within this spirit, including all of our demands, constituting a breakthrough in the struggle for equality of prayer at the [Western] Wall, will we agree to pray there."
"Women of the Wall reached this historic juncture when they understood the dramatic importance of the process, being led by the prime minister, and decided to take an active part in the design and influence on the future of the Western Wall and the future of the State of Israel," she added.
Women of the Wall's main preconditions for moving the group's Rosh Hodesh services to the new space center around building an expansive, single-level plaza that could accommodate at least 500 women, with direct access from the existing Western Wall Plaza. The site should be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the public, without an entrance fee, and without the need to reserve the space ahead of time for services, the group said.
The entrance to the new space should not be separate from the existing infrastructure, nor should it have a separate entryway to the Western Wall, according to the group. In other words, the existing security entrance to the Western Wall Plaza will also serve the egalitarian section. The women also requested signposts to the egalitarian section, called Klal Israel, as well as the men's section and the women's section.
The name of the new section should include the word "Kotel" ("Wall"), the group said. It should be administered by a group of individuals with a vested interest in the egalitarian endeavor, and those with a relevant professional or educational background, interested in the establishment of a pluralistic space at the Western Wall.
The administration would include members of Women of the Well, liberal Jewish movements and other Jewish groups seeking to oversee a non-Orthodox space.
Women of the Wall said they would continue to hold Rosh Hodesh services in the women's section -- services which have sparked protests and sporadic violence from haredi onlookers -- until the completion of the new space.
The group also announced it would bring a Torah scroll to services to read, despite a prohibition from the Western Wall rabbi against bringing a Torah scroll to the plaza. The group demanded that the Mendelblit committee take measures to control the Western Wall rabbi and ultra-Orthodox groups that demonstrate during Women of the Wall's Rosh Hodesh services. Women of the Wall also asked that the committee prevent the use of a sound system during its prayer gatherings.