Beit Shemesh to obscure women’s first names on street signs

Written by on September 23, 2020

The names of women important in Israeli and Jewish history such as Anne Frank and Sarah Aaronsohn will have their first names removed.

Colian, head of B'Zchutan, Israel's first ultra-Orthodox Jewish women's party, campaigns in Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Colian, head of B’Zchutan, Israel’s first ultra-Orthodox Jewish women’s party, campaigns in Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem

(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

The Beit Shemesh city council decided on Wednesday to leave women’s first names off new street signs in the new neighbourhood of Neveh Shamir as part of a deal between secular and haredi council members, according to Israel Hayom.

Originally, the plan for the new neighborhood was to name the streets after haredi figures and subjects, but the plan later changed to include Sarah Aaronsohn and Anne Frank, although their first names will only be written in small print on the signs.

The new neighborhood is being built for the general public, not just the haredi public, but haredi representatives make up a majority on the city council leading to the decision to make the first names of Aaronsohn and Frank less visible.

“The neighborhoods of Ramat Beit Shemesh Hei and Neveh Shamir are for the general public. I was glad to hear that the street names in the neighborhood would be changed to the ‘Zionist-Israeli’ names but if, God forbid, as a compromise they avoid choosing street names with names of women the issue will be very serious,” Gadi Damari, a resident of Beit Shemesh told Israel Hayom.

“Just as we don’t set street names in haredi neighborhoods, the haredim should do their best not to interfere in the names of our streets.”

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