Culture Minister: No to discrimination against haredim

Jerusalem theater refuses to offer separate seating, claiming it 'excludes' people; Culture Minister Regev says policy itself is exclusive.

Hezki Baruch, Chana Roberts ,

Miri Regev
Miri Regev
Flash 90

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) on Friday afternoon responded to an announcement that the Jerusalem Theater refused to hold a haredi event.

"It is inconceivable that the Jerusalem Theater will exclude haredi residents of the city because of their religious outlook and lifestyle," Regev said. "Separately seating men and women, for example, is custom at haredi events, but it is not and cannot be an excuse for excluding an entire population from a public center of culture."

"This culture center does not receive funding from the Culture and Sport Ministry, but I am asking Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to get into the thick of the issue and work in order to ensure that all sectors of Jerusalem's population will have their needs met, with no discrimination."

Jerusalem is Israel's largest city, and 35% of its population identifies as haredi.

Haredim will often refuse to sit next to a person of the opposite gender, despite the fact that doing so is permissible according to Jewish law.