Link Roundups 1 of 2

November 10, 2011 by

Link Roundup: A Spotlight on Gender Segregation

Over the past six months, the news has been filled with stories about gender segregation and gender discrimination in Israel and the Jewish community. From the Hillary Clinton Photoshop fiasco to the recent Brooklyn bus scandal, here’s a look at the biggest headlines.

In May, the Brooklyn-based Orthodox weekly Di Tzaytung digitally removed Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason from the famous Situation Room photograph following the death of Bin Laden. Since then, new stories have been reported about the absence of women from Jerusalem billboards and ads as well as the exclusion of girls from Clalit HMO stickers, which are given to children as prizes at doctors’ offices. Images of women were also removed from the National Transplant Center (ADI)’s bus ads for its organ donation campaign in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Last week, the pluralistic organization Yerushalmim began fighting back by inviting women to be photographed for its “Uncensored” poster campaign. The organization plans to hang the posters around the city in order to return Jerusalem to its “natural state.” [Haaretz]

In June, we reported that the Ultra-Orthodox community in posted flyers around Old City Jerusalem insisting women either stay home or take an alternate, longer, route to the Kotel on Shavuot. Despite the controversy caused by the signs and a court ordered ban on segregation, the Haredi community of Mea She’arim imposed its own segregation policy during Sukkot. Efforts to fight the segregation were unsuccessful as Jerusalem City Council Member Rachel Azaria was fired for petitioning the High Court to uphold the ban. Listen to her interview with Rusty Mike Radio. [The Sisterhood]

Israel’s Reform Movement has also taken a stand against gender segregation by calling for the removal of the separation barrier at the entrance to the Kotel. [Jerusalem Post]

It appears Israel isn’t the only country to have gender segregation problems on public transportation. A few weeks ago, journalist Sasha Chavkin of The New York World, a Columbia University newspaper, revealed that women were being forced to sit in the back of Brooklyn’s B110 bus. The Department of Transportation immediately intervened and although the bus company denied the allegations, it promised to take action against future discriminatory practices. [City Room]

At the beginning of September, the modern Orthodox girls’ elementary school Orot Banot opened in Beit Shemesh despite attempts to shut it down by the town’s Ultra-Orthodox residents due to the girls’ “immodest presence.” The residents have continued to hold violent protests outside the school and harass the girls on their way to school. Last week, the students returned from the holiday break to the smell of a stink bomb, which had been thrown at the school. [Jerusalem Post]

A few weeks ago, we reported that the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra made the decision to remove a concert which featured a female singer just weeks after four cadets were dismissed after refusing to listen to female soldiers singing at an IDF event. Last week, Hila Bunyovich-Hoffman announced plans for a musical protest against the Orthodox prohibition of female singers. [+972 Magazine]

Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail reported that two girls who were sent to the province of Quebec to become part of an ultra-Orthodox group known as “the Jewish Taliban” were sent back to Israel by the Canadian authorities. [JTA]