Israel’s Health Ministry is beginning to get tough on enforcing a regulation banning gender separation in kupat cholim (HMO) clinics, a situation that is prevalent in chareidi areas.
The ministry has ordered the removal of modesty signs that instruct visitors to honor the local community’s (chareidi) modest dress code. In the letter released by the ministry it states the signs calling for adherence to modesty standards was the subject of discussion in a forum including the assistant state attorney general and he says the law dictates the signs must go.
The ministry has received a complaint citing in the Laniado Hospital in Kiryat Sanz there is such a sign on display to instruct visitors how to dress. The ministry probed the matter and has learned the sign is not at all uncommon in chareidi areas.
The Be Free ( ישראל חופשית) organization which calls for separation of religion and state has become active in seeing to the removal of the modesty signs. The organization has been particularly active via its Facebook page. Visitors to the site are urged to document seeing the modesty signs around the country and report the details towards pressuring government agencies to have them removed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)