"Unfortunately, this is another case of radicalization, and we have already heard about a woman who was turned down for a job in the store just because she wears a wig [instead of a fabric head covering called a tichel or a wig with a hat on top – the current haredi gold standards for properly covered hair]."
Beitar Illit store offers men-only counter
Rami Levy supermarket introduces separate cash counters for men, women in haredi city. 'I'm surprised they still haven't opened separate stores for each sex,' local resident says
Ari Galahar • Ynet
Gender segregation has reached a store belonging to the Rami Levy supermarket chain in the ultra-Orthodox city of Beitar Illit. According to one of the shoppers, the store recently introduced two men-only and two women-only cash counters.
"The buyers are pretty indifferent about it," he notes. "The men's counters usually have male cashiers and the women's counters have female cashiers."
But not everyone is satisfied with the new separation. "Unfortunately, this is another case of radicalization, and we have already heard about a woman who was turned down for a job in the store just because she wears a wig," says a city resident.
"I hope this process ends here," he adds.
According to the resident, the special cash counters were likely introduced following a demand made by several rabbis.
"In a city with an official chastity squad, every boy and girl who fail to toe the line get beaten up with municipality and mayor's support," he notes. "I'm surprised they still haven't demanded separate stores for men and women."
Supermarket owner Rami Levy explains, "There is no segregation. Out of 15 cash counters, one of them has a sign reading 'for men', not 'men only', and has a male cashier rather than a woman cashier. If women use this counter, no one will say anything.
"All other cash counters have women cashiers. Within the supermarket everyone walks around together. I don't remember who requested it, but it's no problem."