An 81-year-old woman from Yerushalayim may set a legal precedent regarding religiously-motivated gender segregation in Israel’s public spaces. A lawsuit filed by Renee Rabinowitz against national airline El Al, first reported in the New York Times on Friday, centers on the airline’s decision to ask her to move seats because a man refused to sit next to a woman, YNET reports.
Rabinowitz, who moved to Israel from the United States about a decade ago, said she is not opposed to the ultra-Orthodox. Born in Belgium, her family fled the Nazi occupation in 1941, and received a religious education. She said she is shomer Shabbos.
“Despite all my accomplishments — and my age is also an accomplishment — I felt minimized,” Rabinowitz told the New York Times, reports YNET.
Rabinowitz, who walks with a cane, agreed to move to a “better” seat that was closer to first class. ““For me this is not personal,” Rabinowitz told the newspaper. “It is intellectual, ideological and legal. I think to myself, here I am, an older woman, educated, I’ve been around the world, and some guy can decide that I shouldn’t sit next to him. Why?”