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Secular protest near Safra Square Photo: Gil Yohanan
Secular protest near Safra Square Photo: Gil Yohanan

Sex segregation continues in Jerusalem Municipality

Many municipal employees, including religious councilmen, outraged over decision to hold liturgical poems event for men only

Tzipi Malchov
Published: 03.02.10, 15:25 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Jerusalem Municipality's sex segragation policy appears to be steadily growing. After the report of  a women's-only tour of the Underground Prisoners Museum the city is now organizing an "Andalusian soiree" to include performances from liturgical poets - for men only.


Many employees were outraged over the separation policy adopted by the municipality. "It's a disgraceful policy which I refuse to take part in," Zion Dahan, chairman of the workers' union said.


Even religious councilmen such as opposition chairman Meir Turjeman and finance director David Edri criticized the move. The two claimed that holding a separate event for men was not appropriate and that a more dignified way could have been found to create a separation space in the hall so as to allow women to listen liturgical poets' performances.


Deputy Mayor Joseph (Pepe) Alalo was also furious with the decision. "This separation policy, particularly in the age of Nir Barkat is unreasonable and intolerable. It's about time that someone in the municipality comes to their senses and stop the segregation because it damages the city's image."


A statement issued by the Jerusalem Municipality stated, "Due to the fact that many men in the haredi public do not attend concerts designated for both sexes, even if separation exists, it is the department's obligation to allow them to enjoy such an event."  


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