Originally printed in the Metro magazine of the Jerusalem Post

Females are increasingly absent or outright removed from advertising throughout the haredi community – and progressively, among the national-religious community as well. ‘Metro’ explores the deeper issues, and the radicalization of influential factions within the ultra-Orthodox sector – throughout Beit Shemesh, the country and the greater Jewish world

Imagine a world without women. No mothers or daughters. No female doctors, MKs, teachers or even real estate agents. No girls swinging on playgrounds or young women going to school.

Open one of the numerous pamphlets or magazines in towns around the world with large haredi communities – from Bnei Brak to Lakewood, New Jersey, from Betar Illit to London – and that is what you will find. Even the magazines created for women, like Mishpacha and Bina, have no women or girls in them.

This phenomenon has also come to the town of Beit Shemesh, where, in addition to many haredim and traditional Israelis, there lives a vibrant, Zionistic immigrant population. Recently a group of such residents, concerned with the increasing radicalization of the town as seen in the women-free pamphlets in certain areas and some “women to the back” bus lines, decided to take action – and found more than they bargained for. Continue reading