Tel Aviv Municipality Demands: Yom Kippur Tefilla Without Mechitza

Yom Kippur at Dizengoff Square (Amichai Teirah)

The Tel Aviv Municipality is demanding that the Yom Kippur tefilla that takes place at Dizengoff Square every year be held without mechitzos this year.

Every year, Tel Aviv residents flock to the tefillah, mainly for Neilah and Tekias Shofar at the end of the day.

In response to the ban, the Rosh Yehudi movement, which arranges the tefilla every year, stated: “If the Municipality of Tel Aviv insists on the outrageous ban on mechitzot during tefilla, we will be forced to cancel the traditional tefilla on Yom Kippur in Dizengoff Square. Rosh Yehudi has been holding tefillos in accordance with the traditional halacha of thousands of years, with a mechitzah between men and women and we will not change this minhag.”

“Everyone is welcomed to the tefillah in the square with love and inclusion. Most of the mispallelim are residents of Tel Aviv, who on a daily basis do not wear a kippah on their heads, don’t visit shul and on Yom Kippur choose to come to daven and feel the kedushah and unity in the square. We chose to leave the air-conditioned shul in the Tel Aviv heat, to connect together with the thousands in the square for moments of kedushah.”

“The battle against the tefillah at Dizengoff Square teaches us a lesson for life. You can daven with mechitzos, with love, and without discriminating against anyone, or you can discriminate, exclude and fight unnecessary wars, even without mechitzos. Choose which side you’re on.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Mr. Dennis Prager [who describes himself as a non-denominational Jew] said:

    “Non-Orthodox-Judaism has largely become Leftism with a Torah Scroll.”

    “It looks like Judaism, but it is not.”

    SOURCE: YouTube video titled: Dennis Prager Speaks
    at the Regina Angelorum Academy Fundraiser
    by Regina Angelorum, 2018 May 2, time=10:40

  2. Mr. David Klinghoffer said:

    “What beliefs did the Reform movement stand for?

    A fog surrounds them in the minds of most Reform temple-goers,
    but when I visited Rabbi Dinnerstein in his study at the temple
    in [year] 1995 [CE] to ask for some clarification of his views,
    he said something that crystallized Reform thinking for me.

    I asked him what he thought happened at Mount Sinai.

    He answered that he wasn’t sure but he
    didn’t think it mattered that much.

    From this blithe dismissal of the most crucial
    event in Jewish history, the rest of his
    religious outlook flowed naturally.”

    SOURCE: The L*rd Will Gather Me In: My Journey
    to Jewish Orthodoxy (chapter 3, page 41) by David Klinghoffer,
    year 1998 CE, published by Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-4267-X

  3. “[Reform] Rabbi Sherwin Wine of Michigan,
    issued a call to American Jewry to observe Christmas as an annual holiday.”

    SOURCE 1: Jewish Post and Opinion, 3/27/1977
    SOURCE 2: Jews For Nothing by Dov Aharoni Fisch,
    Feldheim Publishers, year 1984 CE,
    ISBN-10: 0873063473 ISBN-13: 978-0873063470

  4. “According to [Michael] Medved …
    you rarely find more than four consecutive generations of secular or Reform Jews.

    When a Jew breaks with traditional Judaism, his children or grandchildren either will intermarry and raise their own children as non-Jews or indifferent Jews, so that the line of the family disappears from the people Israel –– or they will return to the Judaism he thought he helped them escape.

    Thus the typical Reform Jew has an Orthodox predecessor no more than three generations back.”

    SOURCE: The L*rd Will Gather Me In: My Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy
    (chapter 2, page 15) by David Klinghoffer, year 1998 CE,
    published by Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-4267-X

  5. What’s the basis for saying Halacha requires a Mechitza?
    Only an “Established” Shul requires one.
    Am I the only one who as been to Shiva houses where the men are Davening in the living room & the women are in the dining room (with a wide entrance between them) where they can be clearly seen?
    When men make a Minyan at an airport or amusement park do they put up a Mechitza?of course not because it’s not an “Established” Shul.
    So why would a once a year outdoor (obviously not an “Established” Shul) Minyan require a Mechitza?

  6. the left is getting more and more frightened from the slowly expanding religious Jews in Israel. The Leftists don’t marry much, prefer just to live with someone, often same sex. Dont have much children since its too much responsibility. Whereas the religious marry young and have large families and like living close to their families.

  7. Mr. Dennis Prager [who describes himself as a non-denominational Jew] said:

    “…as a rule, religious Jews are more committed to Jewish survival.

    One recent example: During the height of the Palestinian terror,
    while secular Jewish organizations cancelled their
    youth trips to Israel, the Orthodox did not.

    SOURCE: Ignoring G-d by Dennis Prager in Kosher Spirit magazine, Fall 2003 edition

  8. The Municipality is not punishing the Frum or Dati by doing this.
    They are only punishing their own ‘conservative Tel Avivians’
    They are going to annoy their own people, their own beliefs.

    It won’t effect the Charedim, Dati, or even Dati Leumi.

  9. Gadol, etc.,
    Why would a once a year Minyan (that halachically does not require a Mechitza) not count?
    Why are you assuming more is automatically better? Perhaps more unaffiliated will come because of this?
    I’ve (sadly) been to many mainstream Frum levayas & never once saw while the mourners & Minyan were leading/answering Tefillos or Kaddish that the women went behind a Mechitza (which of course isn’t done because it’s unnecessary as a one time graveside service does not make it an “Established” Shul).

  10. ‘why would a once a year outdoor (obviously not an “Established” Shul) Minyan require a Mechitza?’

    It probably would not, but it isn’t prohibited, the organizers want one, many don’t know the halachah and wouldn’t come if there isn’t one, and many know the halachah but are still more comfortable with one. Not everything has to be a black letter chiyuv for it to be a good Jewish practice.

  11. This is just another example of why the Chief Rabbinate needs to be strengthened in Israel. What people do before they come to worship is their private business but this long-held religious tradition needs to remain in place. If for no other reason because changing it is disrespectful to the recognized rabbinate and religiously observant in Israel.

  12. Tel Aviv is a beautiful secular city, there is no room for organizations like this using public space for gender segregated events, the citizens of Tel Aviv are more than capable of organizing their own events that are show our religion in its best light without the backwards fundementalism that this organization represents