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2/22/2017 New York Times Rails Against Hasidic Single-Sex Swimming at Public Pools - Breaking News – Forward



News » Breaking News

New York Times Rails Against Hasidic Single-Sex
Swimming at Public Pools
By Brian Schaefer
June 5, 2016

(JTA) — An only-in-New-York story about a public swimming pool that offered women-only swim periods for the area’s
Orthodox community turned into a full-blown media firestorm when the New York Times weighed in on the subject.

The pool, located in the heavily Orthodox Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, had been offering women-only hours
since the 1990s to accommodate those whose religious sensitivities forbid women and men from swimming together.

Last week, the Parks Department cancelled the women-only swim periods after an anonymous complaint was made to the
city’s Commission on Human Rights, only to reverse itself following objections by Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox
politician representing the nearby Borough Park and Midwood neighborhoods.

Hasidic Single-Sex Swimming Sparks New Clash With
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a haredi Orthodox umbrella organization. called the women-only hours a “reasonable accommodation.” according to the Jewish Daily Forward. Jewish or Jew-ish? Like us on Facebook for updates. adding that the current practice has a “a strong odor of religious intrusion into a secular That reversal led to a strongly worded editorial  in the Times Wednesday.” the editorial argued.” A Rockland 2/5 . × http://forward.” The Times editorial drew a swift backlash from parts of the Jewish community. “The classical concept of modesty that is embraced by many citizens may have its roots in religious systems. the founding editor of the New York Sun and a former editor of the Forward. and commonly held principles of fairness and equal access. “The hypocrisy and inflammatory language in the New York Times is astounding in many ways.”   In a letter to the Times. 2/22/2017 New York Times Rails Against Hasidic Single-Sex Swimming at Public Pools . Seth Lipsky.Breaking News – Forward. also released a statement. saying. But reasonable accommodation of the needs of such New Yorkers is not an endorsement of any religion. ‘No people with traditional values allowed. “Rescinding the special sex-segregated hours would be the equivalent of a sign saying. the director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America. wrote a heated missive in the New York Post titled “Let My People Swim — and Damn the New York Times. which asserted that setting aside a special time for a religious group at a public facility violated “the laws of New York City and the Constitution.” It pointed to a February story in which the Times reported favorably  on accommodations made at a public housing project in Toronto that offered a women’s-only swim period for Muslim women. Rabbi Avi Shafran. New York group associated with that area’s hasidic Satmar community. who accused the paper of unfairly rejecting a reasonable religious accommodation and of applying a double standard to Orthodox Jews.” “The city’s human rights law is quite clear that public accommodations like a swimming pool cannot exclude people based on sex. the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council.’” he wrote.

and the community can rest much easier this Shabbos knowing that men and women can continue to swim separately.” he writes. Give Now Jewish or Jew-ish? Like us on Facebook for updates. “It is exceedingly odd that the national paper of record only excoriated the practice of sex-segregated swimming when it became aware of religious Jews engaging in it.” he wrote in a statement. omitted the identical practices of religious Muslims. a spokesperson told Gothamist. The NYC Commission on Human Rights and the Parks Department continue to review the pool policies. 2/22/2017 New York Times Rails Against Hasidic Single-Sex Swimming at Public Pools . In Tablet 3/5 . meanwhile.” “It is a major victory for the “If it is great when the wishes of women in the Muslim community are accommodated. Paul.Breaking News – Forward. called the city’s decision to continue the separate swimming hors “a major victory for human rights. why is it a problem when the same is granted to women in the Orthodox Jewish community?” the council asked. The Forward's independent journalism depends on donations from readers like you. Minnesota. Hikind. and even then. San Diego and Seattle in which accommodations made for Muslim women to swim without men were applauded in some cases and sparked controversy in others. But he questioned why the Times editorial failed to mention these precedents and focused exclusively on Orthodox Jews. Yair Rosenberg pointed to examples in St. × http://forward.

2/22/2017 New York Times Rails Against Hasidic Single-Sex Swimming at Public Pools . × http://forward.Breaking News – Forward.   |   Contact   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Trademarks   |   About   |    Jobs Jewish or Jew-ish? Like us on Facebook for Author Brian Schaefer Copyright ©2017 The Forward 4/5 . All rights reserved. Inc.

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