A public library in Jerusalem has reportedly barred women from using its services. This illegal exclusion of women was documented in a report issued earlier today by Jerusalem’s City Comptroller Malka Dror and is taking place in part because the library building was divided in two. One half was turned into a haredi synagogue that does not permit entry to women, effectively making the entire building – even what is left of the library – a male only domain.
Jerusalem Public Library In Haredi Neighborhood Illegally Bars Women, Report Finds
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A public library in Jerusalem has reportedly barred women from using its services. This illegal exclusion of women was documented in a report issued earlier today by Jerusalem’s City Comptroller Malka Dror, Israel HaYom reported.
The library is reportedly located in an area that only became haredi over the past few years. Now the library has been divided in two; one half is now used as a haredi synagogue and the other half is used as a library.
That haredi synagogue is open all day long and because the building has only one entrance and haredim demand strict separation of the sexes that transcends the mandates of normative halakha, Jewish law, women are now barred from entry.
“Operating a public library that offers its services only to men constitutes an infringement on the principle of gender equality and may have a detrimental effect on the municipality's image. A legal opinion obtained on the matter states that having a public library service only men constitutes discrimination and is illegal.…This audit has found that the nature of the [building's] activity indicated ahead of time that a library, whose services are offered to the general public, including women, and a synagogue, could not share the same building. The decision [to divide the building] has created a situation where a city service is, in fact, in violation of the law,” the comptroller’s report reportedly found.
"The City of Jerusalem does not and will not sanction any infringement on gender equality and will take action against any demonstration of discrimination.
"City officials have already instructed the institution in question to define hours when women can use its services, and are enforcing this directive,” the city said in a statement that also stressed that the city is “exploring the possibility of moving the library to a new location,” Israel HaYom reported.