Fashion Show at Tel Aviv Synagogue a 'Pogrom,' Says Religious Leader

Models wearing revealing clothes sashayed in front of Torah ark while cantors sang, Maariv reports.

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A fashion show held at a Tel Aviv synagogue last week is being criticized as sacrilegious, with one religious leader calling it nothing short of a "pogrom."

The display, featuring clothes designed by Mili Dahan, took place at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue, a self-described "vibrant, full service Modern Orthodox synagogue in the heart of Tel Aviv."

The models wore designs considered too revealing for the setting, according to Maariv's website, NRG. The clothes featured sleeveless dresses, one dress that revealed the model's midriff and another featuring a bustier and mini skirt.

As the models sashayed around the synagogue, including in front of the Torah ark, cantors sang songs from Jewish liturgy.

Eldad Mizrachi, who heads the Tel Aviv Religious Council, on Thursday called the fashion show a "pogrom," according to NRG.

In an interview on Galey Israel, a right-wing radio station, Mizrachi blasted the synagogue for allowing the fashion show to take place there." What happened here cannot be ignored," he said. "In the end, this is a pogrom. There are pogroms that damage the soul – a pogrom isn’t necessarily damaging property. This is inconceivable. We are in the midst of Hanukkah. During Hanukkah, people entered a small temple and desecrated it."

Doron Shmueli, the lawyer for the synagogue's founding rabbi, Ariel Konstantyn, defended the decision to hold the fashion show at the house of worship. "The rabbi's goal was to bring people together," Shmueli said, according to NRG. "An unfortunate situation occurred that should not have, but his goal was a positive one."