A Beersheva judge has awarded a woman every shekel she asked for plus 1,000 extra for court expenses after a burial society’s haredi rabbi gender segregated her father’s funeral against the family’s wishes.
Court Orders Burial Society To Pay Woman For Gender Discrimination
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A Beersheva judge has awarded a woman every shekel she asked for plus 1,000 extra for court expenses after a burial society’s haredi rabbi gender segregated her father’s funeral against the family’s wishes, Ynet reported.
The woman and her five sisters were not allowed to walk along side the coffin and the woman was not allowed to eulogize her father.
The small claims court judge awarded the woman 31,900 NIS ($8,300), plus 1000 NIS for expenses ($260).
The hevra kadisha, burial society, while accepting responsibility for what happened and telling the court that rabbis have now been ordered to respect mourners' wishes and ordered not to gender discriminate, argued that was always sensitive to the wishes of families before this and claimed it didn’t discriminate. The disagreement over the eulogy was resolved at the funeral, it claimed, when the rabbi offered to read the woman’s eulogy out loud – even though the woman had rejected that offer when it was made.
The hevra kadisha reportedly also accused the woman of "riding the media wave" of reports of haredi forced gender segregation when she claimed in court that women were excluded at the funeral. By doing this, the hevra kadisha claimed, she slandered the burial society.
And, anyway, the rabbi – who is now himself deceased – was a volunteer, the hevra kadisha said, implying that should protect it from paying damages because he wasn’t an employee.
But Judge Amit Cohen would have none of it.
"The plaintiff and her brothers' testimony was touching. The intensity of their emotions was clear, as was the deep sorrow that was caused to the plaintiff due to the manner in which the funeral was conducted,” Judge Cohen reportedly wrote.