Federation’s paper showed women, unlike today’s Charedi press
Back in 1989-1992 I was the first woman Editor of HaMaor, the in-house journal of the Federation of Synagogues. I edited seven issues. While a feature was occasionally “pulled” by the then powers-that-be who were publicity-shy when it came to money (this was in the days of the infamous Jersey bank accounts), pictures of women contributors, including myself, were never deleted. Dayan Y. Y. Lichtenstein joined the Federation Beth Din during my tenure.
A clue to the evident change of policy since then is to be found on p24 of the same issue of the JC that quotes the Federation’s President, writing in the current edition of HaMaor, calling for the setting up of a new Orthodox “umbrella body” to be “one powerful pressure group” on behalf of the fastest growing section of British Jewry in Gateshead, Manchester, north-west London and Stamford Hill’.
In other words, the Federation, an organisation whose raison d’etre was originally to represent the Jewish East End, is seeking to align itself with the forces of the religious right in order to reverse its long-term decline. The burgeoning Charedi press has a policy of not publishing pictures of 51 per cent of the population, and HaMaor is simply following suit. Deferring to the chasidim who traditionally do not refer by name to their wives and daughters on wedding invitations, today’s so-called “Strictly” Orthodox world cannot even tolerate pictures of Her Majesty the Queen or Prime Minister Theresa May on the pages of their illustrious publications. Doing the rounds last year on the internet (no wonder this is another “no-no” in Charedi circles), was a parody Charedi paper whose take on the change of Government was the headline: “Philip May enters Downing Street”! while arguing in Kasztner’s favour. The “rescue” of a few, admitted Cohen, “was organised on Eichmann’s orders to facilitate the extermination of the whole people.”