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Feb 13, 2013

Poor planning hurts sensitivity of Haredi women

If an activity is planned, by anybody or any body attempting to be professional and do things properly, one would expect that the event planned would take into account the sensitivities and culture of the group the event is being planned for.

One would hope, but that is unfortunately not always the case.

Kikar reported on an activity planned by the Jerusalem City Hall for Haredi women who operate day care centers. It was to be a day for complimentary study, learning new things, and getting out and seeing interesting things. The day was to be considered a paid working day, despite being out at an activity rather than taking care of the little kids in the day care.

Somehow the City planner botched the event up and the planned event included a very inappropriate performance with inappropriate images and mixed dancing. When the Haredi woman discovered what they would have to sit through, they complained and asked to be excused from that portion of the event. They were told that anybody who will walk out will be docked the days pay, and would have to make up the event on another day.

After some intervention by Haredi representatives in City Hall, the city spokesperson announced that the women would not be forced to sit through the inappropriate portion of the event, and would be able to walk out and not be docked the days pay.

I doubt it was malicious, but it was definitely unprofessional and thoughtless. Even if the planners did not realize in advance - maybe they were not aware of every portion of the planned performance - when it was first brought to their attention they should have been sensitive to the cultural issue and allow the women to step out without having to make a difficult decision about compromising their ideals and beliefs in exchange for a days pay. Better late than never, but such snafus should not happen.





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