SA Jewish women's voices freed

Published Jul 27, 2016


JEWISH women will be allowed to sing at ceremonies following an out-of-court settlement between the South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (Sacred) and the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies.

In April, Sacred, a progressive Jewish organisation, Gilad Stern and Sarah Goldstein lodged papers at the Equality Court against the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies for their ban on women singing.

The Board had refused to allow women to sing at the Yom Hashoah Ceremony (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day), which is held either on May 27 or 28.

Sacred then announced they were taking the Board to the Equality Court on August 22 and 23.

Yesterday, Sacred chairperson Julia Margolis announced that they had reached a settlement that would allow for women to perform at ceremonies.

“We are glad all future SA Jewish Board ceremonies and events will be infused with respect for the equal treatment of all, and no members of the community will be treated as second-class Jews.

"The SA Jewish Board of Deputies has agreed to end its ban and we have withdrawn our application at the Equality Court.”

Cape Jewish Board director Daniel Levitt confirmed in terms of their settlement future ceremonies would be restructured.

Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation Temple Israel’s Rabbi Greg Alexander welcomed the settlement and would be celebrating with Sacred.

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