Earlier this week, Barbra Streisand began her tour of Israel, starting out with receiving an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Upon receiving the degree, Streisand spoke upon a touchy subject–the Jewish religious practices that separate women and men. Streisand specifically spoke about incidents where women were expected to sit in the back of buses through their neighborhoods or attempts to prevent women from wearing prayer shawls or carrying Torah scrolls in prayers at the Western Wall.
While Streisand acknowledged that the country obviously has its own dynamics, she made clear that women should be allowed to practice their religious traditions in peace.
It’s distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus or when we hear about `Women of the Wall’ having metal chairs
thrown at them when they attempt to peacefully and legally pray.
Israeli Laws Minister, Tzipi Livni has gone about introducing legislation that will bar these kinds of incidents from happening. Coupled with the university for the first time having a majority of women receiving their degrees, Streisand said she felt that “repairs are being made, and that’s very good.”
In Israel, Streisand criticizes treatment of women (The
Wave Hello to Dr. Barbra Streisand (Jezebel)