BDM Weekly

No to Gender-separate Classes

If this proposal for Haredim is indeed approved, the heads of the universities and colleges, the academic faculty and the student population must unite to battle the undermining of academia’s foundations. 

The probable decision by the Council for Higher Education to open separate classes for men and women at Israel’s universities is a capitulation to ultra-Orthdox (Haredi) and Haredi-nationalist forces. They seek to remake the public sphere in accordance with the rules of gender separation – on the street, in the military, in schools, and now in academia. These evil winds, which have apparently permeated the CHE, must be fought. They must not be allowed to stain the higher education system, whose principles and objectives are equality and education for all.
The higher education system, in an effort to appease the Haredim and encourage them to enter its gates, is gradually folding. Gender separation, first marketed as a necessary evil that would be temporary and limited in scope, is now getting a broad stamp of approval. Not only has this separation become the norm in Haredi programs for bachelor’s degrees, it is being considered in programs for advanced degrees “in therapeutic professions … for which there is a critical need in the Haredi community,” as Yarden Skop reported in these pages yesterday. To meet these needs, it seems that the CHE is even prepared to accept a ban on female lecturers in classes for male students.
The proposal to expand the Haredi frameworks to students who aren’t actually Haredi may be the clearest expression of the baleful consequences of accepting gender separation. A similar process of separating boys and girls from the earliest primary school grades has destroyed a number of educational institutions in the state-religious stream. The tone is being set by extreme elements, Haredi-nationalist in orientation, who have succeeded in getting state authorities to finance and realize their educational worldview. Now they are seeking to do this in higher education as well.
One of the basic principles of academia is openness – to people, ideas, and the surrounding reality. It’s hard to think of academia without this ongoing discourse, as difficult and complex as it may be. But the CHE plan to appease Haredi students, who will be followed by all the other supporters of gender separation, won’t bring about interaction and debate, but the opposite: It will build walls within the campuses themselves. This undermines the essence of academia, which goes beyond instruction in any particular course of study.
Higher education officials remember the bitter arguments that accompanied the first concessions that allowed special programs to open for Haredim five years ago. The temporary has become permanent and it’s expanding. We should not accustom ourselves to these changes, which are being encouraged by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. He plays a central role in the CHE, whose makeup is more religious than in the past and even has a Haredi member for the first time.

If this proposal for Haredim is indeed approved, the heads of the universities and colleges, the academic faculty and the student population must unite to battle the undermining of academia’s foundations.

Haaretz Editorial

read more:

Schermata 2017 04 20 alle 17.52.59

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • During book launch in West Bank for book of essays marking 50 years of occupation, U.S. Jewish literary couple talk about that uncomfortable subject Where do they get the chutzpah to lecture Israelis on the evils of occupation? Since the
    Read More
  • El Al forced to change its policy and pay damages to Renee Rabinowitz, the 83-year-old Holocaust survivor who filed the suit A new court ruling explicitly forbids flight attendants for Israeli airlines from asking women to switch seats to accommodate
    Read More
  • Opponents of the new settlement claim it will create an enclave of Palestinian owned land that will be unreachable to its owners The head of a Palestinian village and an Israeli human-rights group appealed on Wednesday in the High Court
    Read More
  • A UN report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were
    Read More
  • Last December, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett appointed Tel Aviv university philosophy professor Asa Kasher, to author an ‘ethical code’, to define rules in the area of “overlap between academic and political activity”. Last month, Kasher submitted the document to
    Read More
  • East Jerusalem is occupied by Israel. It is also illegally annexed. It is also illegally separated from the rest of the West Bank by an illegal wall. In Jerusalem, Israel boasts of 220,000 illegal Jewish settlers settled on land confiscated from 300,000 Palestinian residents who are
    Read More
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Video of the Week Interview with Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist

Video: Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist who dedicates his life in support of human rights and a desirable and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Son of a former Israeli general, author of the book "The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine," Miko has the courage to publicly denounce what others prefer to deny, and several times arrested during his demonstrations alongside the Palestinian people, He has no doubt about the solution to the Middle East question.#SAVEPALESTINE

Boycott Israeli diamond