Ultra-Orthodox women fight for right to serve in Hatzalah ambulance service

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Only weeks after the city of New York forced a bus line operating between ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods to end its separation of men and women, the borough has been thrown into another debate involving contentious gender policies.

Only this time, it’s a struggle for equality taking place where life-and-death decisions have often taken place: Hatzalah, a veteran emergency medical service that employs only young Haredi men, was asked to add ultra-Orthodox women to its staff.

The fight against the exclusively male character of Hatzalah is led by Rachel Freier, known as “Rochi” among her friends, a Haredi attorney and resident of the predominately ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood.

But the heads of Hatzalah, the headquarters of which is located at the heart of Borough Park, are outright determined to reject the very idea of allowing women to join an organization that has accepted only men since its establishment 40 years ago.

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Posted by on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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