A weekly Yiddish newspaper serving Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox community is once again facing criticism for preventing women from appearing in its pages.
The Forward reports that Hasidic tabloid Di Tzeitung is refusing to print the photographs of women murdered in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre this past weekend. While Friday's cover features images of the eight male victims, the three women who were killed are honored only through a small-print acknowledgment of their names and ages.
Image of ultra-Orthodox newspaper after Pittsburgh.
"America Shocked by Mass Murder of 11 Jews in Their Temple In Pittsburgh"
"The Pittsburgh Martyrs" [8 men]
Smallest type below that
"And 3 women" [no pictures]#Misogyny pic.twitter.com/SaDUi8j6Wh
— Zackary Berger, MD, PhD (@ZackBergerMDPhD) November 1, 2018
According to the founder and editor of Di Tzeitung, Adam Friedman, the newspaper has a longstanding practice not to print any photographs of women in its issues. "It's about modesty laws," he told Gothamist. "Nobody in our readership, men or women, considers this a negative or thinks it's denigrating women. We write about women very prominently and respectfully."
It's not the first time that the small newspaper—which was founded in 1988 and has a print circulation of about 9,000—has faced criticism over the policy. In 2011, Di Tzeitung made headlines for digitally deleting an image of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from an iconic Situation Room photograph of officials monitoring the Osama bin Laden raid.
The readership of the Tzeitung believe that women should be appreciated for who they are and what they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws of modesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite. The allegations by some, that Orthodox Judaism denigrates women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel.
In a post addressing the controversy, Politico wrote that the Clinton air-brushing had "produced a reasonable debate—if one much more often heard about Islam—about whether this is an outrageous instance of a repressive culture, or simply a religious tradition worthy of respect."
On Thursday, Friedman told Gothamist that the policy was common among Orthodox publications, and would not be affected by the anger of those outside the community.
"It's what our readers want," he added.