A huge happening for the city's children was held Friday at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center ahead of the opening of the Wilf Children's Hospital. While the ads directed at the general public included pictures of boys and girls, the girl's picture was replaced with painted hands in ads published the ultra-Orthodox media and sent to haredi homes.
According to a source in the haredi advertising industry, following the criticism over the omission of pictures of women, and particularly of little girls, which are not subject to any halachic prohibition, the major advertising agencies avoid producing different ads for the general public and for the haredi population. They usually use shadows or only present pictures of men.
This is not the first time that service providers at Shaare Zedek give in to haredi pressure. The hospital's orthopedic store was once covered with stickers after presenting pictures of women. The store owners explained that this was done at the request of haredi customers, who were offended by the image of a woman. The hospital's management said it had nothing to do with the decision, which was made entirely by the franchisee.
The hospital offered the following response: "These days, we have begun populating the Wilf Children's Hospital at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The hospital's marketing department prepared a series of ads in order to notify the public about the huge happening and about the opening of the special hospital for children.
"The ads were adapted to different target audiences in order to show consideration and respect for everyone, but it eventually decided to use only one version. Unfortunately, the other version appeared in two of the publications."