search

Exclusive: Lapid calls US boy who had Western Wall bar mitzvah disrupted by zealots

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Ultra-Orthodox youths interrupt a bar mitzvah ceremony at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on June 30, 2022. (Laura Ben-David)
Ultra-Orthodox youths interrupt a bar mitzvah ceremony at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on June 30, 2022. (Laura Ben-David)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid calls one of the American boys whose bar mitzvah was overrun by religious zealots last month, a source familiar with the matter tells The Times of Israel.

In the phone call, which took place earlier this evening, Lapid calls the violent protests at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall “outrageous” and says that every Jew should be able to pray as they see fit, the source says, speaking to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity.

The prime minister tells the boy, Seth Mann, of Las Vegas, that the protests “did not represent the State of Israel, the people of Israel, or the government of Israel,” says the source, who was on the line.

FULL STORY: Lapid calls American boy whose Western Wall bar mitzvah was overrun by zealots

Though the conversation was between the premier and Seth Mann, his parents Joel and Sari Mann, the latter the Nevada state director of the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby, were also on the line.

Lapid wished Mann a mazal tov on his bar mitzvah.

Though several other families were also at the Western Wall that day, the Manns have been the most public in voicing their disappointment at the violent disruptions of the bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, as well as at the near total lack of intervention by police at the scene.

A police officer stands between a group of ultra-Orthodox youths and a bar mitzvah ceremony at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on June 30, 2022. (Laura Ben-David)

Earlier today, Lapid also met with Public Security Minister Omer Barlev to discuss the police officers’ actions at the Western Wall, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel, also on condition of anonymity.

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed