MembersOnly in Israel: The Curious Case of the Orthodox Concert

Israel’s need to balance its secular democracy with the fact that it is a religious state can get confusing

By David Lazarus | | Topics: Orthodox Jews
Photo: David Cohen/Flash90

When Orthodox Jews organized a concert with one of their best-known singers to be held in a public park in the norther town of Afula, it sparked a domino-effect of reactions that produced another “only in Israel” moment.

The Orthodox performer insisted that the concert be held according to strict religious requirements separating men from women in the audience. So, a secular Women’s Rights Lobby appealed to the District Court in nearby Nazareth (a mixed Arab and Jewish town), where the Jewish judge ruled that segregating men from women at a concert in a public park is against state laws protecting equality.

In response, the...

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