A new alert for those women who are fighting to ensure their place in modern Israeli and observant Jewish society.

As the Jerusalem Post tells it, on Tuesday, November 22, 2011,

“The Israel Bar Association [failed]…to select a woman to serve on the Appointments Committee for Rabbinical Judges.”

Previously, there had been one woman on that Committee. Now there are none. You might ask yourselves why a committee that oversees the selection of those who decide the fate of battered women, of wives who cannot gain divorces from their husbands and are considered agunot, and of those who declare which women’s children are mamzerim (“bastards” according to Jewish law, with attendant complications in securing a marriage) shouldn’t have any women on it, or even one woman. Yet that is the reality as of today.

So get this: an organization that supports a state committee that determines the legal status of countless women and their children has been politically hijacked by self-interested Orthodox parties who have ensured that their patriarchal system, run by men, dominates not only their women but all Jewish women in Israel.

Now you must be thinking that there are plenty of sympathetic men who care and who will jump to help Jewish women in Israel. Think again.

International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR)…announced on Monday that in light of the (then-expected) selection of Axelrod and Eisenberg, it had prepared a draft bill for the Knesset to reserve two slots on the committee for women. The law was proposed on Monday by MKs Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Einat Wilf (Labor), Orit Zuaretz (Kadima) and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz).

Take a look at those names. One man, 4 women are the sponsors of that law. There are 24 female Knesset members out of 120. I would think that electing a few dozen more would help women in Israel immensely. How do you get there? Easily. Join political parties and vote for their slates. Make it a point to vote for women candidates. Then vote for the party which has the most women running on its slate.

But for now let’s start small. If you’re female, I remind you to sing or hum whenever and wherever you are in a public place with men around you, particularly Orthodox men. Make them feel your presence and your strength. Remember, you are not doing anything wrong, you are not stripping or being immodest, you are not being sexually provocative or in any way offensive. You are merely singing. Let them know that they do not control you. Sing. Sing. Sing.

Here is Kol Isha / Women’s Voice Alert Two

Here is Kol Isha / Women’s Voice Alert One and Founding

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  • Are you seriously suggesting that spots be reserved for women – who last I checked, were 51 percent of the population?

    And did you even bother to find out how many qualified female attorneys/junior justices there are?

    Typically Muddled nonsense.

  • – and AT LEAST 7 Israeli universities and community colleges offer law-degree programs TAILORED TO ORTHODOX AND HAREDI women – with everything from all-woman classes to nursing and nappy rooms.

    So the only people going on about fundaMENTalists stuffing women into Burkas – are left-wing Jews desperate to project/deny their own movements’ failures, and stuck on their stupid internecine hatred.

    Reality, reality, reality…

  • Uh, stop reading whatever you feel like into what I’ve written. I proposed a purely democratic solution where more women join political parties, run for spots on the slate and vote with a preference for women candidates.

    As for burqas and so on, the entire point of these posts is to ensure you never get there.

  • Un-Muddling:
    As for burqas and so on, the entire point of these posts is to ensure you never get there.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    Translation: far from “reading into what I’ve written” – Ben David correctly got what “the point of the post” was: a completely fictitious equation between Orthodox Jews and oppressive Taliban.

    Your assumption that women are not politically active or already represented on almost every major party’s slate further confirms that you’re writing from your fevered liberal Jewish brain rather than looking at the reality of Israeli society or politics – in which even the most ultra-Orthodox women are in no danger of being excluded from the legal profession, or from political circles.

    Quod Erat Demonstratum.

  • Translation: the point of the post is that there are already very clear examples, led by the Torah observant part of Israel, of women in Israel being excluded from influential roles in parts of Israeli life that directly affect women, and that the problem is accelerating instead of slowing. For example, they have no role in the body responsible for civil marriages and divorces in Israel and now they don’t even have a single woman on the committee that determines who should sit in such important seats. Does that does resemble Iran? I don’t know, you tell me. Does it pose a worrisome trend? Yup.