Women’s images continue to be at the forefront of the religious cultural wars in Israel. On a recent Shabbat, posters of famous art works featuring nude females were put up in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood in Jerusalem to provoke Haredi residents there. And as Purim approaches, the Uncensored movement is calling for a boycott of the Kfar Hasha’ashuim toy and costume chain because of its print ads that blur out the faces of little girls, and its bus ads that do not include girls at all.
One humorous response to this very serious matter is the Kosher Camera. The gag website states that this special camera has built-in facial recognition software that covers female images with either the Mehadrin Mask (a brown paper bag), the Glatt Blot (pixilated face), or Modern Modesty (black bar obscuring the eyes).
Natan Eshel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau chief, resigned from the civil service, amid accusations of sexual harassment.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has invited gay and lesbian couples to marry in Tel Aviv. It is a symbolic gesture of support, as the marriages would not be legally recognized.
A conference on child welfare at Ben-Gurion University focused on on child molestation and sexual abuse in the Haredi community.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, is urging Israelis to oppose religious coercion and the exclusion of women.
A young Jewish woman, who is Caucasian, is petitioning to be exempted from service in the IDF. She claims that the sexual modesty practices of her ethnic group are similar to those of the Haredi community, whose young women do not serve in the army.