Discrimination in court?
The Petah Tikva Rabbinical Court has recently been ordered to rehire a woman who was supposed to begin work at the court as a secretary but was sent away by the halachic rulers because of her gender.
Two years ago, the woman arrived at her new place of work and planned to assume the secretarial position she was hired for.
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However, upon her arrival at the court, the rulers informed her that she was not welcome there, demanded that she leave the place immediately and stressed that if she chose to stay she would be considered a "transgressor" and a curse would be cast on her.
The rulers also went on strike for several of hours, until the humiliated woman consented to leave, in tears.
The affair recently became known to Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, who decided to intervene. He ordered that the worker should be returned to work on Monday, and instructed the director-general of the rabbinical courts, Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, to escort the woman during her first day at work in order to make sure she was being greeted appropriately.
Friedmann also sent a harsh letter to the Petah Tikva court's presiding judge, Rabbi Baruch Shimon Salomon, stressing that the rabbinical court was obligated to follow the laws of the State of Israel, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Law that prohibits discrimination based on gender.
The minister warned that should the court fail to accept the worker, sanctions would be taken against it.