Beit Shemesh: A city in turmoil

As Haredim continue to defy legal rulings against modesty signs, many have begun to see Beit Shemesh as ‘the canary in the coal mine’ of Israel’s complicated secular-religious conflict.

By HANNAH KATSMAN
November 25, 2017 17:42
Ultra Orthodox and secular Israelis clash in Beit Shemesh.

Ultra Orthodox and secular Israelis clash in Beit Shemesh.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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 A large sign with bold black letters hangs on the fifth and highest floor of an apartment building at the street corner near Alisa Coleman’s Beit Shemesh home. Instructing women in “our” neighborhood to appear in modest clothing and signed by “neighborhood residents,” the sign and others like it are part of an ongoing turf war in the increasingly Haredi city.

When Coleman first moved to the Sheinfeld neighborhood, she occasionally visited stores in the Kirya Haredit (Haredi Quarter), near the Migdal Hamayim (Water Tower) neighborhood.


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