Barbra Streisand Raps Orthodox Jews’ Actions Against Israeli Women

Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand received an honorary doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday. ((Alexi Rosenfeld, AJR Photography / Facebook))

U.S. entertainer Barbra Streisand on Monday took a swipe at Orthodox Jews in Israel who compel women to sit in the back of buses and assault them for following religious rituals traditionally reserved for men.

“It’s distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of a bus or ... having metal chairs hurled at them when they intend to peacefully and legally pray. Or women being banned from singing in public ceremonies,” she said.

The Oscar and Emmy-winning actress and singer, who is Jewish, was speaking at a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she was awarded an honorary doctorate.

A public bus system operating in some Israeli cities forces gender segregation in deference to ultra-Orthodox rabbis who have long wielded political power in the Jewish state.

Some of these clerics are also battling against a women’s prayer group seeking to liberalize worship at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites. The women wear prayer shawls and read aloud from the Jewish scriptures there, defying a tradition that only men should do so.

Streisand starred in a 1983 film Yentl, which explores the yearning of Jewish women for religious equality with men.

The Brooklyn-born Streisand, 71, also offered some criticism of her own country’s failure to achieve full gender equality.

“I know that solutions don’t come easy, and they don’t in the United States, where women are still making 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes,” she said.

During her visit to Israel, Streisand will also sing at a 90th birthday celebration for President Shimon Peres and will perform at two concerts in Tel Aviv.


Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan, editing by Gareth Jones

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective