An undergraduate student at the Bar Ilan University posted a complaint on the university's Facebook page, stating that one of his classmates was removed from a class taught by Rabbi Dr. Haim Talbi for not wearing a yarmulke.
The post stirred a commotion as the university's comment backed the lecturer, confirming that wearing a yarmulke to certain classes was a mandatory directive nd part of the institution's guidelines.
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"How is it possible that a lecturer tells a student to get out of class for not wearing a kippah, and the university backs that teacher?" the student asked.
"The lecturer informed the class that everyone must wear a yarmulke, because we've agreed to that when signing the university guidelines. When one of the students complained, the professor sent him to the administration office. The next time that the student tried to talk to the professor about it, the professor didn’t cooperate and asked him to put on a yarmulke or leave the classroom. So he got up and left."
Many students were enraged by the incident, commenting on the Facebook post that it was a case of religious coercion that does not coincide with the views of many of Bar Ilan's secular students.
The university itself commented to the post, explaining that "According to the university guidelines, head covers are mandatory in basic courses in Judaism. Not all teachers are strict in enforcing that, but those who do, do so faultlessly. The clause appears in the form signed by every student who enrolls into the university. Signing that form is part of the registration process, so every student must be familiar with it."
The university's official response added that "The obligation to wear a yarmulke in classes pertaining to religious texts is meant to respect the institution's Jewish tradition and values. According to the university guidelines, students are obligated to wear a yarmulke in Judaism classes."
The Chairman of the Bar Ilan Student Union Matan Bar Noy stressed that the student union works "To bridge between the diverse populations on campus," vowing to "Try and mediate between the student and the lecturer in hopes of resolving the issue in a manner that does not offend either of them."
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