This is Israel 2011. Unbelievable.

Advertisers are caving in to the demands of extremist ultra-Orthodox groups. They’re dropping photos of women from posters and billboards in Jerusalem. As a result, images of women are now conspicuously absent from the city’s streets.  Even ballet studios and women’s clothing stores have stopped using photos of women.We can’t let women be erased from the public eye. That’s a dangerous erosion of the status of women. And it’s a slippery slope.   Yerushalmim — one of a number of NIF-supported groups responding to this challenge — is photographing women and placing their posters throughout the city. They’re making sure that women continue to have a place in the public square.Today, I want to invite you to take part in this campaign. Here’s how:

  1. Print this sign.
  2. Take a photo of yourself holding the sign. (If you’re a guy, think about posing with a women you love. Your mom would love to be asked!)
  3. Email the photo to info@nif.org.
  4. Post the photo on your Facebook wall.
We’re compiling the photos into a poster. And we’ll hang that poster at key junctions in Jerusalem. (We’ll also post them here).When you send us your photo, you’ll be showing that this struggle is not just waged by the women of Jerusalem alone. It is the struggle of people of conscience everywhere. When the advertisers eliminate images of women, they reinforce a worldview in which women must be hidden, where women can’t have any meaningful role outside of the home. That’s what happens where religious extremism overwhelms basic freedoms. And that’s unacceptable…. 

Thank you,

Shira Ben-Sasson
Grants Officer, New Israel Fund

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