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Female Jewish leaders sue Haredi news site for blurring their faces

A branch of the Reform Movement in Israel is suing a popular ultra-Orthodox news website in Jerusalem over its policy of blurring faces of females.

The Israel Religious Action Center says it is seeking NIS 345,000 ($100,000) in damages from B’hadrei Haredim for a picture it ran last year of female leaders of Jewish movements meeting with President Isaac Herzog, in which the faces of the women were digitally smudged out.

The suit is filed on behalf of Anna Kislanski, CEO of the Reform Movement in Israel, IRAC Director Orly Erez-Likhovski, Rakefet Ginsburg, who leads the Conservative Movement in Israel, Yochi Rappeport, executive director of Women of the Wall, and WoW deputy leader, Tammy Gottlieb.

“B’hadrei Haredim must pay a significant price for this illegal exclusion, compensating my colleagues for the humiliation caused,” IRAC Executive Director Anat Hoffman says in a statement.

A meeting between President Isaac Herzog and Jewish leaders in Jerusalem distributed by the President’s Residence in December 2021, with faces of females blurred, as it appeared in B’hadrei Haredim according to a lawsuit. (Courtesy: IRAC)

Many ultra-Orthodox publications refrain from publishing photos of women, or blur their faces, saying that depictions of women are immodest and should not be available to the eyes of those who subscribe to the need for hypermodesty.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this post.

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