The Israel Museum vehemently denies a report that it plans to introduce gender-segregated viewing hours.
The venerable Jerusalem institution says it will remain open to all during regular hours, but may consider requests from single-sex private groups to visit after closing time or on Tuesdays, when it is normally shut.
“The Israel Museum does not discriminate, nor does it segregate, based on gender,” the museum said in a statement. “The Museum is not changing its admissions policy.”
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported the issue in a July 23 story that was picked up by the Forward.
The controversy erupted as the museum tries to encourage as wide an audience as possible for its new exhibit, “A World Apart Next Door: Glimpses into the Life of Hasidic Jews.”
The museum has long had a policy of allowing private groups to visit the museum after normal hours. A spokeswoman said she didn’t believe any of those previous groups were gender specific.
“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,” the museum statement said.