Beersheva Zoo Segregates Visitors by Gender, Requires “Modest” Dress

Turtle at Negev Zoo

Ynet reports that when Avigail Kanterovich and her family showed up at the Negev Zoo in Bersheva, they couldn’t get in. Even national religious visitors couldn’t get in.

The ticket sellers told them that the zoo was closed to non-Haredi visitors. The zoo management says that this was a special event arranged for the Haredi public, however no prior announcements had been made to the general public and there were no signs in place at the zoo when the family arrived Later in the day the zoo affixed a sign at the entrance announcing the special visiting requirements.

After the family confronted the zoo management, the zoo agreed to let them and other non-Haredi visitors in. However, even children’s activities at the zoo were segregated by gender. All visitors were required to dress to a Haredi standard of modesty as well or they could not be admitted.

The Beersheva municiplity said that this event was an example of seculars and religious living in harmony.

According to Wikipedia the Negev Zoo receives funding from the city of Beersheva, the Israeli Ministry of Education, the Housing and Construction Minister of Israel and private contributors.

Attempts to segregate public spaces by gender have failed when challenged in the Israeli Supreme court. In September, 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the right to segregate city streets by gender. In June, 2011 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected public enforcement of gender segregated buses.

Nonetheless municipal governments from time to time cooperate with Haredim in sponsoring publicly funded gender segregated events in public spaces. Last Hanukkah, Petach Tikva enforced gender segregated seating at municipal Hanukkah shows.

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Categories: Exclusion of Jews, Gender Segregation | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Beersheva Zoo Segregates Visitors by Gender, Requires “Modest” Dress

  1. With no prior announcement? During kol hamoed, when everyone is out with their kids…? Is this zoo paid for with public funds? Were the Haredi participants local residents? What would they say if there were days that they were NOT allowed in due to their attire? Don’t we have enough outside enemies without having to discriminate against fellow Jews? Nobody forces you to go to a zoo, how can you force others not to be allowed to enter?

    • Beth Frank-Backman

      Its publicly funded. I’ve updated article with a list of funding sources.

  2. Shiraz

    Is Beersheva going down the drain too?

  3. Chaya

    A ZOO IS NOT A RELIGIOIUS VENUE!! There is NO reason for gender separation!! This is totally outrageous!

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