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Israeli Court Leaves Back Door Open on Segregated Buses

In January, Israel’s high court abolished the so-called “black buses,” the Egged public buses used by the ultra-Orthodox, men in front, women in back. But Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) director Anat Hoffman feels the decision falls short. She told the Jerusalem Post that, by making segregated seating voluntary, the court literally “left the back door open,” allowing women to enter by the bus back door. “Women who have been bullied into sitting in the back of the bus have been trained to sit there. I want that door closed.” The IRAC plans to test the ruling with “freedom riders.”

To view life on the buses before the court decision, see “Black Bus,” the 2009 documentary by Israeli filmmaker Anat Zuria, the final film in her trilogy critiquing the ultra-Orthodox Haredi world.