Heimishe Essen is one of Rehavia's oldest restaurants, serving traditional Ashkenazi food to the Jerusalem neighborhood's residents for many years.
Rehavia is an old "mixed" neighborhood near downtown made up of secular, Zionist Orthodox – and a rapidly growing haredi population.
Heimishe Essen is located across from a secular school and nearby a haredi yeshiva. And that's where Heimishe Essen's waitresses' problem comes from.
Haredi yeshiva students commonly study all night Thursday, taking breaks to buy cholent and other foods from vendors and from neighborhood restaurants which stay open late (or open early) to serve them, and it's common to see groups of young haredi men throughout Jerusalem crowding around a cholent vendor's stand or a bakery at 2 or 3 a.m Friday.
Heimishe Essen tried to fill the same need for the haredi yeshiva students in Rehavia. But it's haredi kosher supervisor, the Badat'z of Agudas Yisroel, would have none of it – unless Heimishe Essen agreed to use an all male wait staff, Mynet reported. The fact that the waitresses all dress modestly and that some are themselves haredi apparently did not matter to Agudas Yisroel, and Heimishe Essen's owners agreed to comply with the kosher supervisor's demand.
Thursday night is a very busy time for Heimishe Essen, and using only male wait staff means the sidelined female wait staff loses a lot of money. And that is forcing some of them to look for new jobs, Mynet noted.
[Hat Tip: Jacob's Bones.]