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Israeli orchestra drops female singer after pressure from Orthodox subscribers


Summary of story from Haaretz, October 8, 2011

Bowing to pressure from religious subscribers, the Israel Andalusian Orchestra has removed a concert from its subscription series featuring a female singer.

In an announcement to subscribers regarding the new concert season, the orchestra management said that, as some members of the public did not listen to women singers, it could offer the concert featuring a woman singer as a separate option.

Many observant Orthodox Jewish men refrain from listening to women sing, as a violation of Jewish religious law, halakha.

Haaretz has learned that the orchestra received complaints from concertgoers who threatened to cancel their subscriptions over the woman singer featured in the subscription series.

The concert that engendered the controversy is scheduled for January and features three women: Morocco-based singer Francoise Atlan, cellist Rali Margalit and conductor Eti Tevel. It is the only one with a female singer on the program.

  1. It seems to be a well-kept secret that this sort of discrimination occurs not only in fundamentalist Islam but in fundamentalist Judaism as well. Neither do I think that you’d have to scratch the surface of fundamentalist Christianity too far in order to find similar discriminatory beliefs and practices. All three religions are based on out-dated, socially irrelevant, patriarchal tenets. Thanks for posting this.

  2. The really nice thing is that it’s not just the ‘Big Three’ that manages to discriminate against women – any system that calls itself a ‘religion’ does it. Hey, even those things that call themselves ‘belief systems’ do it – look at Buddhism and tell me you don’t have to be a bloke before you’ve got any shot at Nirvana…

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