Ramot Shopping Center May Become the Next Chareidi Secular Battleground in Yerushalayim


charnRabbonim in the Ramot neighborhood of Yerushalayim last month released a kol korei placing the Kenyon Ramot Shopping Center off limits to the frum tzibur, as was reported by YWN-ISRAEL. The rabbonim explained that efforts to persuade mall management to adhere to chareidi modesty guidelines failed, leading to the call to boycott the center.

Responding to the battle cry is none other than Jerusalem Councilwoman Rachel Azariya, representing secular Jerusalemites in the battle to repel chareidi coercion. It should be pointed out that in the case of Kenyon Ramot; some of the owners are chareidi. Azariya and her secular supporters have released a response, referring to the “extremist rabbonim who are calling to boycott the shopping center because of secular music, store mannequins, ‘non-modesty’ as they call it.”

They add “Ramot is a mixed neighborhood and most residents are not chareidi. The shopping center serves everyone and it has become a popular meeting location for many of all walks of life seeking to shop, meet and simply live in peace.”

Azariya calls on supporters to come and shop this Friday morning, 6 Tammuz 5773, at 10am. “We will not permit extremism to destroy the dual existence that prevails in the community. Come and show your support for the businesses. Come and protest together with Ramot residents.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. #1 Charedi bans are ‘loud noises’ and not usually adhered to.
    Do you think that the FRUM residents of Ramot are not traveling to other areas to shop, eat and meet? No way, this is their community mall.

  2. This is gezeira sheain rov ham omed bah. The only pharmacy in Ramot is in the new mall, because the chain branch put the small pharmacy in the old commercial area out of business. There are banks there, and often a person must use their home branch. And there are legitimate “pareve” businesses that are paying rent, and this has the capacity to hurt them more than the operators.

  3. I live in Ramot.
    zionflag – bans from rabbonim are taken very seriously, or should be.
    Neither I nor any of my chareidi friends continue shopping in the ramot kenyon.
    The vast majority of ramot is chareidi.

  4. If frum people perceive openly immodest shops as uninviting, they don’t need a committee to tell them not to go. It’s analagous to someone putting out a sign saying “Frummies not welcome here”. If merchants see they are scaring awaying customers, they’ll change. If frum merchants see their customers are being scared away, they’ll move. There is no need for a “socialist” solution of someone acting like “Big Brother” and demanding a formal boycott.

  5. Rather than debate what the makeup is of the majority of Ramot residents, a more appropriate question is who uses the mall, which is pretty upscale and geared to the higher-income residents of Ramot.

    Far as I could tell in my visits there, before the ban, the lower income kollel families had no reason to go there, as the services and merchandise offered there are beyond their budget and not suited to their interests.

    The mall is located in its own area; no one has to pass through in order to get anywhere else.

  6. #2 – There’s not a whole lot that a “frum” person can get at the “community mall”. yes there’s a pharmacy and banks, but the clothes that are sold there are hardly tznius, the food in the restaurants is of the lowest level kashrus available in the city, and the supermarket that is located in the mall sells food with questionable hechsherim (to say the best). Which frum person needs such a mall? The best thing they did was to improve the gesher that goes over Sderot Golda Meir so that you don’t have to cross the highway on a rickety old staircase and exposed to all of the elements.

    #4 – I spoke to a friend who lives in Ramot and was told that it is permissible to go to the pharmacy, although there is a Meuhedet pharmacy at their snif in Ramot Daled and maybe other kupot have pharmacies as well located in Ramot. Also, banking may be unavoidable in the situation you describe, but I know that people are avoiding it.

    Akuperma – people tend to go with the flow until it gets too much at some point. I could go to the mall with my eyes closed except for the store where I was interested in going, but really, the whole place is geared for the secular people with I would say about 25% of the clothes/shoes appropriate for frum people. Having the rabbonim come out against what is going on there helps give people the strength to say they won’t continue to pander to the people who run these stores and have gone from bad to worse since its opening less than 2 years ago. Yes Ramot is a mixed neighborhood, but it’s not like there’s anything strictly frum going on over there. I will miss Payless shoes but I will live without it. Perhaps I’ll go to Petach Tikva or one of their other stores where I will know what to expect when I go.

  7. #8 Nechama – by your post I can tell that you haven’t shopped in the Ramot mall. I, on the other hand, do. First of all, MOST of the clothing sold is tznius (maybe not YOUR style of tznius, but certainly according to the Shulchan Orech). Second, the food places, like the bakery, Holy Bagels, etc. carry fantastic hechsharim. Again, maybe not Eides Chareidis, but then again, I don’t hold by Eides Chareidis. I can’t speak for the supermarket because I haven’t checked all of its products, but I guarantee that they don’t sell treif!

  8. #10 I have in fact shopped many times in the Ramot Mall. Unfortunately, I do not consider Rabbanut Mehadrin to be a “fantastic” hechsher. It is a regular hechsher, not special. Maybe the ice cream place has better, I’m not sure. By the way, Holy Bagel in Geulah has a Eida Hachareidis hechsher.

    While I’m sure the bakeries and Mega does not sell treif, the “frum” people in Ramot do want products with hechsherim like Eida Hachareidis even if you don’t.

    As far as tznius clothes go, I’ve been in almost every store in the mall and, while you can get stuff there in the winter, during the summer, there’s tons of sleeveless/tank shirts, shorts and short pants for women, not to speak of pants all year round in at least one store but probably more. The style of shoes available in Payless, while I am a true lover of the store in America, leave much to be desired. The high-heeled, gold and red sandals and other such shoes for which you do not (for the most part) Pay Less than other shoe stores are hardly what I would call “tznius”. In the beginning I could hardly find anything to buy there. Slowly they have brought more of the flats and low heels of less vibrant colors, but I’m still picking between the 1 or 2 pairs that they have in my size (or my daughters’) that are appropriate.

  9. The mall and the stores in it are all businesses and they make decisions that will maximize their profits. If, today, they cater to chiloni tastes more than to charedi tastes that can only be because their customers are primarily chiloni. The way to get them to change is for more charedim to shop there and to request different products. When a business sees a demand for a different product it will sell it. Boycotting the mall will have the opposite effect – the businesses will see fewer charedi customers and will cater less to charedi tastes and more to chiloni tastes.

  10. The style of shoes available in Payless, while I am a true lover of the store in America, leave much to be desired.

    That is what PAYLESS is offering in all their stores in frum areas in the US. Fashion and trends have changed, buy what works for you.

  11. Nechomah: First you wrote that “the clothes that are sold there are hardly tznius” and then you clarified that you were referring to SOME of the clothes that are sold there.

    You then wrote that the Payless had almost nothing that met your standards of tznius, which would seem to indicate, given that the store primarily serves a religious clientele, that YOUR definition of “tznius” is far different than many other frum women’s.

    Then you wrote that “the food in the restaurants is of the lowest level kashrus available in the city.” You then explained this meant Rabbanut Mehadrin.

    It does sound that this mall is not for you and you should do your shopping in Geula.

    However, because it’s not like Geula, that means it’s not kosher?

    It is so sad that you seem to have such contempt for ladies whose standards are different than your own.