The following is via OnlySimchas.com:
In a letter signed by leaders of Belz Hasidic Schools in north London, Jewish mothers have been banned from driving and rabbis have also agreed that children dropped off at school by their mothers should be turned away because women drivers break “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp”.
The letter was sent to members of the community and has since been criticized for trying to turn their London community into Saudi Arabia.
The UK Ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Dina Brawer, told the Jewish Chronicle that the “draconian ban” is only about “power and control of men over women”.
She added: “In this sense it is no different from the driving ban on women in Saudi Arabia. That it masquerades as a halachic imperative is shameful and disturbing.”
Since the establishment of the state of Saudi Arabia in 1932 women have been banned from driving and last year a woman reportedly received 150 lashes for being caught driving.
There are two large schools in London operated by the Belz Hassidim: Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass and Beis Malka are rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
The Jewish Chronicle said that some of the wives of some of the rabbis backing the ban do actually drive.
One woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said the proposal “disables women” because “the more kids they have, the more they need to drive”.
And of the rabbis she said: “They say one thing, they do another.”