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Brooklyn, NY - Feds Investigate Borough Park-Williamsburg Bus For Requiring Women To Sit In Back

Published on: October 19, 2011 12:44 PM
By:  NY Post
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Photo via Flickr WilliZenPhoto via Flickr WilliZen

Brooklyn, NY - A Brooklyn bus contracted by the city to operate a Williamsburg-to-Borough Park route—catering to Orthodox Jews but open to the public—is under investigation for allegedly forcing women to sit in the back of the bus, authorities said yesterday.

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The B110 looks a lot like any other city bus on the outside—with a lit-up sign broadcasting its official route number.

Inside, however, is like taking a trip to the pre-Civil Rights era South.

“That’s reserved for men,” the bus driver told a female Post reporter when asked if she could sit in the front rows.

Signs written in Hebrew and English direct women to use the back door during busy times.

Full story at The NY Post 


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1

 Oct 19, 2011 at 01:16 PM Gefilte Fish Says:

Typical mock journalism, who's rights is this reporter trying to protect? The clientele of this but wants it this way, men and women alike.

2

 Oct 19, 2011 at 01:18 PM CSLMoish Says:

Its the people themselves that want it separate. Nobody is forcing this onto women

3

 Oct 19, 2011 at 01:33 PM bigwheeel Says:

Shred. You're so predictable. Even with my eyes closed, (and one hand tied behind my back) I could tell how you will come down on any issue involving Yidden. But your English (Grammar and Spelling) need major improvement. My profile (of you) stands. You are an immigrant of the former Soviet Union. (Nothing wrong with that.) But you were indoctrinated by the communists to hate anything that smells of religion. I think it's time you discarded those old dogmas and doctrines that are now on the scrap heap of history. (I'm not judging on the issue, just commenting on Shred's reflexive reaction to issues.)

5

 Oct 19, 2011 at 01:42 PM traveller Says:

This bus route is absolutely the worst. The reporter forgot to mention that even when your pushing a stroller, and have kids on your arms (which most of us do) we have to STAND in the back with kids while they get to sit. How about the men should stand int he back, while women and children sit??? I am not even going to mention that the fair isnt cheap at all...

6

 Oct 19, 2011 at 01:48 PM Chusid Says:

I am right now on the bus # 523 1:15 from Boro Park ti Williamsburg and a CBS reporter came ont the bus and in the front between the men and no one said a word she was taking video with a hidden camera that someone sitting next to her saw, when the bus turned onto Ft. Hamilton she looked lost so sombody asked her if she is on the right bus she said yes, than a person told her that women sit in the back so she stood up to ask the driver but the driver said it does not matter so she said shr wants to get off, she got off at Ft Hamilton and New utrecht, Good Luck Yankel Mermelstein don't be affraid of these trouble makers its only maaseh suten.
A Git Kvitel

7

 Oct 19, 2011 at 02:17 PM Meshigah Says:

If a gentile will board such a bus someone will explaine the Jewish custom and ask to please sit in the womens section, nobody ever forces anyone.

8

 Oct 19, 2011 at 02:18 PM A Says:

Reply to #2  
CSLMoish Says:

Its the people themselves that want it separate. Nobody is forcing this onto women

Of course it's being forced on the women, do you honestly think that women want to walk past all those staring men to sit in the back? Talk about an untzniusdik environment! Let the men walk all the way to the back.

9

 Oct 19, 2011 at 02:25 PM Reb Yid Says:

It's interesting that in the above photo, a woman is either boarding or alighting using the front door.

10

 Oct 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM Upset Says:

If the people who ride the bus agree to ride this way then it is perfectly ok. There is no one forcing anyone to ride in the front or the back of the bus. This policy is strickly voluntary, therefore there shouldn't be any problem with this. The goverment is trying to make an issue of a non-issue, to save people who do not want to be saved, to fight a war where there is no conflict. There is no need to waste our tax money by investigating this bus.

11

 Oct 19, 2011 at 02:37 PM ShatzMatz Says:

it doesn't matter if you agree to this practice or not, the fact is that this route is subsidized with taxpayer money and runs an official franchise route. It is most likely illegal. The only way to get around this is if it is not the official compant policy but rather the passengers do it voluntarily. if that is the the case then if a female reporter gets on and sits in the front no one could tell her a word. (yeah, like that will happen.)

In the end they might have to institute a private line without goverment money. Perhaps run as a non-profit with support from members of the community.

12

 Oct 19, 2011 at 03:19 PM enlightened-yid Says:

Reply to #2  
CSLMoish Says:

Its the people themselves that want it separate. Nobody is forcing this onto women

Do you honestly believe that? Do women in Orthodox world have much say or freedom to protest the status quo? Get real. I don't know what woman volunteers to being treated like cattle. The men that ride these buses should be ashamed of themselves but they never will because they feel that they live under Torah values. When women with multiple kids and with strollers are expected to be stuffed into back section where there are always less seats and adult, healthy males sit around looking at these women standing, it's a shameful travesty. Even Arabs have basic decency to stand up for a woman with a child, and not force her to the back.

19

 Oct 19, 2011 at 03:42 PM mewhoze Says:

as a child i remember going on city busses and i would get up to give my seat to an older person, male or female.
i wonder if its ok for a 20 yr old man to give his seat to an 80 yr old woman.

20

 Oct 19, 2011 at 03:28 PM Mark Levin Says:

It looks like 'any other city bus.' Really?!?!? From which city & what year?? Certainly NOT NYC and not in the last hundred years either! If they have any problems they should just go back to being private and zeh hu.

As for the moyser, (s)he should rot in hell!

22

 Oct 19, 2011 at 03:48 PM Henshe Says:

Let the Feds investigate why the MTA X29 Express Bus frequented by working frum Yidden was axed. AT the same time the X27 and X28 buses catering to Bay Ridge and bensonhurst had more busses added.

23

 Oct 19, 2011 at 03:56 PM c Says:

We are being forced into this! Its enough of the fanatical and insular behavior that has made ultra orthodox Judaism look more like a cult that a religion.

24

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:08 PM Anonymous Says:

as a religious women if a buntch of men ask you to sit in back of the bus you might not feel comfortable to say no. also not everyone agrees that this halacha so i dont think anyone should be going around saying that plus i am certain the signs on the bus are illegal if the bus is runned by the city and i do think in general men have to learn to have more manners and be more polite to woman and shouldnt be sitting or for that matter on a bus if they have a probelm sitting next to a women as rav moshe ruled that it was ok

25

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:24 PM Ina Says:

Reply to #11  
ShatzMatz Says:

it doesn't matter if you agree to this practice or not, the fact is that this route is subsidized with taxpayer money and runs an official franchise route. It is most likely illegal. The only way to get around this is if it is not the official compant policy but rather the passengers do it voluntarily. if that is the the case then if a female reporter gets on and sits in the front no one could tell her a word. (yeah, like that will happen.)

In the end they might have to institute a private line without goverment money. Perhaps run as a non-profit with support from members of the community.

"In the end they might have to institute a private line without goverment money. Perhaps run as a non-profit with support from members of the community."

Do you really believe that this is a cause worthy enough for community support! Let them figure this one out, but there are certainly far more worthy causes for community funds in these most difficult times.

26

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:38 PM RachelJD Says:

Reply to #10  
Upset Says:

If the people who ride the bus agree to ride this way then it is perfectly ok. There is no one forcing anyone to ride in the front or the back of the bus. This policy is strickly voluntary, therefore there shouldn't be any problem with this. The goverment is trying to make an issue of a non-issue, to save people who do not want to be saved, to fight a war where there is no conflict. There is no need to waste our tax money by investigating this bus.

Sorry, it is a BIG issue because this is a bus line with a CITY contract to provide PUBLIC transportation. In essence, then the CITY is enforcing a private religious practice (separation of men and women), and under US law, this cannot be done.

You can't have it both ways. If you take public money, you have to follow public laws. Now if you want to finance your own private bus line, that is a different story.

To follow the "if this is the way the people want it" argument, what if people decided that African-Americans, or Jews had to sit in the back of the bus, would that be alright with you?

27

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:44 PM Sociologist Says:

Reply to #7  
Meshigah Says:

If a gentile will board such a bus someone will explaine the Jewish custom and ask to please sit in the womens section, nobody ever forces anyone.

Yes, that is the custom in shul, but on a bus? If this is a public mode of transportation and this behavior turns out to be true the franchise holder runs the risk of losing their franchise in addition to being fined and could possibly face jail time. This behavior towards women is a chillul hashem. This shabbat we will be reading how the R"SH created man and woman in His image. Is that the way to treat someone who looks like the Creator?

28

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
enlightened-yid Says:

Do you honestly believe that? Do women in Orthodox world have much say or freedom to protest the status quo? Get real. I don't know what woman volunteers to being treated like cattle. The men that ride these buses should be ashamed of themselves but they never will because they feel that they live under Torah values. When women with multiple kids and with strollers are expected to be stuffed into back section where there are always less seats and adult, healthy males sit around looking at these women standing, it's a shameful travesty. Even Arabs have basic decency to stand up for a woman with a child, and not force her to the back.

These tired and overworked women should go on strike. No cooking,cleaning or marital relations. We'll see how long it takes to change these "menschens" behavior.

29

 Oct 19, 2011 at 04:59 PM Ahuvah54 Says:

Reply to #8  
A Says:

Of course it's being forced on the women, do you honestly think that women want to walk past all those staring men to sit in the back? Talk about an untzniusdik environment! Let the men walk all the way to the back.

I've taken that bus, and I do not appreciate walking through the men's section to get to the women's section either. It does not seem tzniusdig at all. Why not a curtained mechitzah down the center, and then everyone can get on in a private way.

30

 Oct 19, 2011 at 05:11 PM RachelJD Says:

Reply to #7  
Meshigah Says:

If a gentile will board such a bus someone will explaine the Jewish custom and ask to please sit in the womens section, nobody ever forces anyone.

You're still missing the point. This is a Jewish religious practice not incumbent on gentiles. If this were a totally private bus service, then it would be different. The bus company operates pursuant to a city contract, which means some type of public subsidy is involved. Public money may not be used to enforce a denominational religous practice. I am a Jew residing in a Jewish neighborhood but I would not want to be asked to abide by a Muslim, Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist or whatever religious practice on a publicly financed transit system. This is the US and any person can freely walk on a public street or ride public transit.

31

 Oct 20, 2011 at 09:31 PM lexingtonave Says:

This is the most insular kind of thinking I have heard of in a very long time and that's saying something. It is outrageous and unacceptable that a woman must go to the back of the bus and at times missed getting picked up at stops. If a penny of public funding goes into this bus and route the company and driver better be willing to stand up and insist a woman can sit wherever she wants and have the judgement to stop regardless of how full the "women's section" of the bus is. The is ludicrous and pathetic and highly discriminatory. That the bus company seems to kow tow of the Orthodox community is highly unfortunate. The rules and rights are clear. What's next? A subway where Orthodox men sit and women stand or don't enter their section? Unbelievable.

32

 Oct 20, 2011 at 09:32 PM lexingtonave Says:

Reply to #30  
RachelJD Says:

You're still missing the point. This is a Jewish religious practice not incumbent on gentiles. If this were a totally private bus service, then it would be different. The bus company operates pursuant to a city contract, which means some type of public subsidy is involved. Public money may not be used to enforce a denominational religous practice. I am a Jew residing in a Jewish neighborhood but I would not want to be asked to abide by a Muslim, Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist or whatever religious practice on a publicly financed transit system. This is the US and any person can freely walk on a public street or ride public transit.

Exactly. This seems hard for most to comprehend.

33

 Oct 22, 2011 at 08:01 PM Anonymous Says:

I think we've exhausted the issue and with one or two exceptions, just about everyone here agrees this "separation effort" is real chillus hashem and will reflect really badly on frum yidden who might have pushed for this outcome. In any event, the City Transit Department has already told the company that chartered the buses that if there is one more incident of such efforts to impose a "voluntary" separation, the charters will be cancelled immediately.

34

 Oct 22, 2011 at 08:51 PM Robert Says:

perhaps women and children should use this bus only
the men could walk, bicycle, or share a cab etc......
this approach would be the ultimate respect for the women.

35

 Oct 22, 2011 at 08:57 PM MazelKGH Says:

Reply to #23  
c Says:

We are being forced into this! Its enough of the fanatical and insular behavior that has made ultra orthodox Judaism look more like a cult that a religion.

Mark (no longer Michoel, for shame), we know each other for a long time and I have tried to help you in the past when you came to me. It looks like you are getting worse and you are no longer seeking the help you so desperately need (and deserve). Please I beg you, get some help fast (at least for your lovely family's sake). When you are well enough to travel, get out of brooklyn (again, fast) and regain control of your hijacked/manipulated brain. Hopefully, it is not too late. Kol Tuv and call me if you need me. I am always available for you.

36

 Oct 22, 2011 at 09:05 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #3  
bigwheeel Says:

Shred. You're so predictable. Even with my eyes closed, (and one hand tied behind my back) I could tell how you will come down on any issue involving Yidden. But your English (Grammar and Spelling) need major improvement. My profile (of you) stands. You are an immigrant of the former Soviet Union. (Nothing wrong with that.) But you were indoctrinated by the communists to hate anything that smells of religion. I think it's time you discarded those old dogmas and doctrines that are now on the scrap heap of history. (I'm not judging on the issue, just commenting on Shred's reflexive reaction to issues.)

I see frum people can do as they please. sign contract and just ignore what it says what you agreed to.

typical frum I am frum I do as I please
what I said was this

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference on Wednesday that if Orthodox Jews want to segregate men and women, they should get their own bus. Segregation is “obviously not permitted” on public buses, Bloomberg said, adding, “Private people: you can have a private bus. Go rent a bus, and do what you want on it.”

37

 Oct 22, 2011 at 10:50 PM shtill Says:

The middle easet has a couple of programs running public transportation in segregation.

38

 Oct 23, 2011 at 03:11 AM yoily Says:

hi all, Git voch,

it seems like most of the people who took the afford to comment here are not peope who are using the 110 Bus route.

99.9 % of the riders are happy the way it was until now, and will only continue using it if it will stay that way,

this Bus does NOT get any goverment Fundng, yes it is a Public route but thats about it.

to say it is a Chilul Hashem is Stupid, same like taking off your Yarmelka when you are in a non Jewish Area, its non sense, non Jewish people reapact our Religion,
its a shame and the biggest Chilil hashem when a Jew is between Goiyim and is trying to be like them, ask them you will find out, they lok down on you, how you embarrass your religion Etc.

Conclusion:
i beleive nothing will change, things will cool off, eveyone will go back to job/school and become busy agan:)


Good night

39

 Oct 24, 2011 at 12:54 AM ELM Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

These tired and overworked women should go on strike. No cooking,cleaning or marital relations. We'll see how long it takes to change these "menschens" behavior.

Couldn't agree w/ you more.These ungrateful men/husbands treat these woman like lower class citizens! So sad that they don't have the strength to stand up for themselves.They need to put their usual learning aside and learn about treating woman/their wives w/ more respect!

40

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