women soldiers celebrating Simhat Torah- Eliyahu Hershkowitz - 25102011
Female soldiers celebrating the Simhat Torah Holy Day. 42.6 percent of young Jewish women do not serve at all, mostly because they say they are religious. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkowitz
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The “women singer ban” phenomenon has reached Tel Aviv high schools. A recent Haaretz inquiry has revealed that an alternative youth movement, “Yehuda and Israel” - with whom year 10 students are required to participate in a “Personal Commitment” program - recently hosted a performance in which female singers performed, and male audience members were forbidden. In addition, the youth movement had held numerous performances with male-only lineups.

Yehuda and Israel established the “Bima Lenoar” (Stage for Youth) club, which prides itself as an association committed to “instilling values of cooperation, unity and contribution to the community via the performing arts.”

But Haaretz learned that the club hosted dozens of performances with Israel’s leading singers – almost only men. One of the few women who performed there was the singer Marina Maximilian, whose performance only allowed the attendance of female audience members.

It must be noted, however, that the club hosts evening events as part of its educational activities in which youth bands perform in front of mixed audiences.

The organization’s segregation policy bothered some of its staff, and even caused two staff members to resign. They said forbidding female singing is a blatant contradiction of the association’s values.

After Haaretz contacted the Tel Aviv Municipality over the affair, the municipality demanded the association host female singing events, and threatened to cancel the Personal Commitment program run by the association.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: איסור "שירת נשים" - גם בפרויקט לתיכוניסטים בתל אביב