Ultra-Orthodox protest against Israeli ruling to integrate Jewish schools

June 17, 2010

orthodox jews 1

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested in Israel Thursday against a court order to desegregate a religious school and force Jewish girls of European and Middle Eastern descent to study together.

Demonstrations were held in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, a Tel Aviv suburb with a large population of religious Jews, before some 80 Ashkenazi parents, Jews of European origin, were to report to jail for defying the Supreme Court ruling.

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox minority has long been at odds with the Jewish state’s highest judicial authority over edicts which some devout Jews say interfere with their religious lifestyle.

orthodox jews 2

The Ashkenazi parents resisting their daughters’ integration with Sephardi, or Middle Eastern, students at a girls’ religious school in the Jewish settlement of Immanuel in the occupied West Bank, deny the court’s allegations of racism.

They say the two communities have different religious traditions and they do not want their children influenced by Sephardi practices.

orthodox jews 3

Clothed in traditional heavy black garb, ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews held open-air prayers during the protests as police deployed in force, fearing possible violence.

“We have chosen the Torah,” one banner read, alluding to the community’s belief that the law of God is supreme.

orthodox jews 4

(Photos by Ronen Zvulun)

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

[…] Orthodox Jews protest ethnic integration of schools Posted on June 21, 2010 by Bento Via Reuters: Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested in Israel Thursday against a court order to […]

Posted by Israeli Orthodox Jews protest ethnic integration of schools « The Word Warrior | Report as abusive

[…] in the West Bank. Israelis, too, have seen sharper confrontations within their nation, notably between secular and religious Jews. Inside the West Bank and across Jerusalem,  I’ve also watched new physical barriers going […]

Posted by Writing on the walls :NewsPress.me | Report as abusive

Jews do not tolerate Jews. How can we ask that this intolerant group tolerate Muslims and Christians?

Posted by Mojtala | Report as abusive