Sisterhood Blog

Prime Ribs: Israel Edition

By Elana Maryles Sztokman

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The women’s basketball team Elitzur Ramle won the Eurocup championship for the first time in Israel’s history in a 63:51 victory against French team Arras. Star player Shay Doron who was also the first Israeli woman to play in the WNBA, said the team was “ecstatic” about the win. Despite the incredible triumph, women’s sports in Israel remain largely under-reported and under-attended, lamented Ramat Gan council member Israel Zinger who was at the national championship and found few public officials there. Needless to say, that wouldn’t be the case had the men’s team been up for the European championship.


Gila Klein is running for the head of the teachers’ union under the campaign slogan, “Revolution! After 107 years of male authority, it’s time to go from ‘mazcal’ [male director general] to ‘mazcalit’ [female director general].” Despite the fact that teaching is undoubtedly one of the most female-dominated professions, the inverse pyramid has held fast even here. That is, the higher up on the ladder, the more men dominate women. Elections for head of one of the most powerful unions in Israel are set for this week, and we’ll see if there will indeed be a gender revolution.


Where are the women business leaders, again? A conference called the “Tel Aviv 100 Live 2”, described as “the people and companies leading the financial markets” lists the 39 people that everyone in business presumably would want to meet, all CEOs, CFOs, and directors — and there are only three women on the entire list. The conference, set for next Tuesday at the Tel Aviv Hilton, and organized by Calcalist and Excellence Investment House, invites by invitation only “financial advisers, investment directors, financial agents and platinum customers to meet face to face with the leaders who make up the Tel Aviv 100 Index.” Once again, we have a boys’ club story of business, where personal networking and contacts are offered by a group of predominantly men to a group that is predominantly men.


Kolech has announced that its 7th conference on women in Judaism is set for this summer. Topics will include women’s bodies, women in public leadership, discrimination in the religious world, and more. Request for proposals is available on the Kolech website.


Now it’s the law: MK Dalia Itzik’s proposed bill to make it illegal to have a state commission of inquiry with no men on it has been passed by the Knesset and now officially the law.


Almost the law: The bill to outlaw prostitution in Israel, proposed by Kadima MK Orit Zuaretz in 2009, passed the third reading last week in the Knesset. Zuaretz wrote on her Facebook page: “We are obligated to collapse the infrastructure that supports the exploitation of women in prostitution. The world[s] of media, advertising and journalism are a significant factor in increasing demand for prostitution, and only by hurting the pockets of the advertisers will we be able to weaken this phenomenon. In addition, the State must expand the treatments and services available for victims.”


More on the child bride: Dr. Yizchak Kedman, director of the National Council for the Child in Israel, has taken on the case of the child bride from Kiryat Sefer. He says that 15% of all marriages in Israel are of underage girls (under the age of 17) — compared to 1-2% in most of the Western world. The police generally do not intervene, except for in scattered cases, presumably because they accept the practice as a religious thing. The police have now intervened in this case, as proof has been uncovered that the marriage took place on the holiday of Purim in Beitar Illit. The rabbi who performed the wedding is being sought by the police.


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