Woman in 'Back of Bus' Israel Gender Separation Drama Insists She Was Moving

Ultra-Orthodox Insisted on Divided Seating in Beit Shemesh

Not Defiant: Rachel Rosenfeld insists she was trying to move to the back of an Israeli bus when ultra-Orthodox passengers became enraged, sparking a mini-riot.
haaretz
Not Defiant: Rachel Rosenfeld insists she was trying to move to the back of an Israeli bus when ultra-Orthodox passengers became enraged, sparking a mini-riot.

By Allison Kaplan Sommer (Haaretz)

Published August 02, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The last thing that Rachel Rosenfeld expected when she arrived in Israel four weeks ago was to find herself at the center of an uproar around gender segregation on public transportation that would cause ultra-Orthodox protesters to smash bus windows in angry protests.

“It’s been a big shock that this little thing that happened to me expanded into a big story involving the police and newspapers and television news,” said the soft-spoken 27-year-old doctor, who is Orthodox, dresses modestly and covers her hair.

But that is precisely what happened after a couple who asked Rosenfeld, who comes from London, to move to the back of a bus travelling from Beit Shemesh to Bnei Brak was arrested.

Rosenfeld says it was the bus driver who decided to call the police, and who took action after Rosenfeld was asked repeatedly by a Haredi husband and wife to move to the back of the bus.

After initial hesitation, she had gone to the back willingly, contrary to what was widely reported in the Israeli media. “When I saw all of the news coverage, it was wrong. They said the couple forced me to go to the back and I wasn’t willing to go. That’s not what happened.”

It was only after police, responding to the bus driver’s call, stopped the bus and arrested the Haredi couple that rioters in Beit Shemesh started attacking buses - though not the one Rosenfeld was on, which was already far out of the city.

For more go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.