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Jerusalem: Hareidi Rabbis Organize Mall Boycott

Hareidi rabbis wield purchasing power in battle for modesty, tell followers to avoid Ramot mall.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/2/2013, 11:07 AM

Hareidi man walks past Ramot mall
Hareidi man walks past Ramot mall
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rabbis in the hareidi-religious community in Jerusalem have called for a boycott of the mall in the neighborhood of Ramot. The rabbis are hoping that hareidi purchasing power will induce mall managers to change the rules regarding modesty at the site.

The rabbis published an announcement in local synagogues.

“Two years ago a mall opened in our neighborhood,” they wrote. “At that point the managers of the mall promised us that the mall would be suited to residents, and would respect their lifestyle and not cause offense.”

“This agreement was never fully fulfilled, and over time the promise has been violated in various ways, as whoever has been there can testify,” they accused.

“Slowly, the impression has grown that there is no real desire on their end to uphold the agreement, except maybe to avoid tension with the hareidi community,” they continued. Mall managers “are trying to push it as far as they can,” they added.

“We do not want a war,” the rabbis declared. “On the contrary. But now we find ourselves with no other choice.”

They called on residents to use the mall only when necessary, giving the example of visiting the bank in the mall or the pharmacy, but not to visit other stores.

While the letter did not state the precise allegations against the mall, a local report linked the boycott to stores' use of scantily clad mannequins in store windows and billboards. All the eating facilities in the mall have stringent mehadrin kashrut and the supermarkets cater to hareidi shoppers.