Poll: 90% of Israelis Oppose Gender-Segregated Buses

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mehadrin-busNinety percent of Israel’s Jewish adults, including 81% of chareidim, support the elimination or limitation of gender segregated “mehadrin” bus lines, according to a survey conducted by the Smith Research Institute on behalf of Chiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality.

Furthermore, 71% of the public view the bus lines as degrading to women. The poll was conducted between the 16th and 18th of December among a sample group of 500 respondents.

The survey also portrays an increase of some 10% in opposition to such bus lines. A preliminary survey on the matter that was conducted in July, showed that 80% of those polled called for eliminating or limiting the mehadrin bus lines.

Seventy-four percent of those polled also said they oppose the current policy of the Kosel rov, Rav Shmuel Rabinovitch, to aim for strict separation between men and women at events throughout the Kosel plaza.

Additionally, 40% said that they support egalitarian access throughout the entire plaza, and 34% said matters should be left as they have been since the area was freed in the Six Day War – where the area immediately adjacent to the Kosel is separated into men’s and women’s section used for davening and the remaining area is not segregated.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel based on a JPost report}


  1. Maybe we should also take a poll on what percent of people support stopping loshon hora.

    If a majority doesn’t support stopping loshon hora, then perhaps we need to make loshon hora muttar.

  2. Are these men only/women only buses, or separate sections on the bus? If the former, very impractical for a population largely without cars, where families travel together.

  3. 90% of Israelis also oppose Shabbos.

    Pure nonsense like most of the posters who have zero knowledge, interest or awareness of what is happening in Eretz Yisroel. Shmiras Shabbos is felt in every Israeli city from Metulla up north to Eilat downsouth. Come and visit Rosh Pina, Naharia, Carmeiel, Ber Sheva, Mitzpa Rimon on shabbos and you will be SHOCKED.

  4. If the treatment of people sitting in the wrong part of the bus weren’t so ugly, most people probably wouldn’t care. As an aside, why does it have to be a back/front separation? Why can’t they do it like the Monsey buses, with 2 sides and a mechitza down the middle? That would at least get rid of the taina about sending women to the back (although the issue of families wanting to ride together would still exist).

  5. I don’t get it.

    These buses are for Chareidi Neigberhoods only, so they should survay only chareidim, no?

    This line is a give-away: “Seventy-four percent of those polled also said they oppose the current policy of the Kosel rov, Rav Shmuel Rabinovitch, to aim for strict separation between men and women at events throughout the Kosel plaza”…

    Now you know just how “Israeli” the survay was…
    [Let them use “Manof” survayers, who are the most professional in Israel…]

  6. wonder why [6]
    The problem with that is you have a big croud of people standing- falling on each other, which is the main concern of the ‘Mehadrin’ orgenizers.

  7. Matzav shouldn’t have posted this article, because it isn’t news. It’s skewed propaganda from an organization with an agenda to stamp out any orthodox or traditional Judaism in Israel. Chiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality is headed by Reform ‘rabbi’ Uri Regev, a transplanted American. Chiddush also conducted a poll regarding gender separation at the Kotel and came up with 80 – 90 % opposition.

    The original news article about the Kotel poll was attributed to an unknown writer or news organization that went solely by its initials. This article, first published in the Jerusalem Post, was one of the only articles on that day that did not offer readers a chance to talkback. The ‘religious’ women quoted in these types of articles are associated with leftist Meretz and the Reform-backed Religious Action Center. The law suit against these lines, which was brought by ‘religious’ women, includes a well-known writer known for her anti-religious views and an extremely vocal, leftist member of Jerusalem’s Reform community.

    Matzav readers should be further aware that Orthodox Jewry, especially what’s known as the ultra-orthodox community, mostly ride buses. The level of cars in these communities is extremely low. The mehadrin bus lines all originate in ultra-orthodox neighborhoods and run primarily through ultra-orthodox neighborhoods.

    The mehadrin concept was started as a private venture in ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. Egged bought out these lines due to competition. Now Egged has the monopoly on transportation in most cities due to the Ministry of Transportation, which refuses to let the ultra-orthodox constituency create new, mehadrin lines in lieu of the Egged-sponsored lines.

    In the 6 years I have been riding mehadrin lines, I have witnessed maybe 1 or 2 incidents where women were asked to move to the back of the bus, and this was done in a polite manner. The more common problem is that many women sit further up front, leaving little space for the men, who stand.

    As a daily bus rider, I welcome the mehadrin lines. I’m sure that most religious bus riders, if polled, would say the same. Movements such as Chiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality, the Reform Religious Action Center, and Women at the Wall are trying to deny the basic rights of a large segment of Israel’s population in order to advance their own, unwelcome version of Judaism in Israel.

  8. Unfortunately, this poll does not shed too much light on the situation.

    1) The poll surveys 500 respondents. Many and possibly most are not even religious, let alone chareidi. I’m sure most of those that are religious that were questioned were not even what we would call chareidi and amongst those that are most likely don’t live where there are Mahadrin buses.

    2) The fact is that most people that live in areas that have mehadrin buses are happy with the idea being that it prevents a lot of uncomfortable situations. The only problem that exist is that there do exist fanatics that will start up with someone that they feel isn’t respecting the accepted rules (which of course is wrong).

    3) The Halacha has to be considered here and most poskim hold that if you find yourself stuck between women on a crowded bus you are required to get off the bus (see Yalkut Yosef, to name just one sefer, albeit that Ashkenazi poskim paskin the same).

    All in all, this poll doesn’t seem to be of so much help.


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