The Israel Museum on Monday denied a report that it has initiated separate visiting hours for men and women to accommodate ultra-Orthodox visitors who want to see its Hasidic world cultures exhibit.
From the end of this week, it will be offering private, paid tours, after hours, to the exhibit, said the museum’s foreign media spokeswoman, “just as we often do for private groups to various exhibits. We certainly don’t impose segregation.”
“The Israel Museum does not discriminate, nor does it segregate, based on gender. The Museum is not changing its admissions policy; the entire Museum remains open to everyone during normal visiting hours,” the museum said in a statement.
“We regularly make arrangements for private groups to visit the museum after hours, and give special consideration to the requests of private groups whose cultural practices are on view,” it added.
The museum was responding to an article in Haaretz on Monday that said it had introduced segregated visiting hours for the first time.
The exhibit, “A World Apart Next Door: Glimpses into the life of Hasidic Jews,” runs from July 21 to November 30 and features rare texts, artifacts, clothing, photographs and videos. Since its opening it has attracted favorable reports in the ultra-Orthodox press and visits from Hasidic notables, including the leader of the Karlin Hassidic sect, who made the first ever official visit to the museum by a Hassidic leader in order to view the exhibit.