The IKEA furniture and homewares store has issued a special version of its catalogue for the ultra-Orthodox sector, featuring challah boards, cupboards with black and white clothes and, most notable, no women. The absence of women from haredi newspapers, websites, and other forms of media has become a well known and now almost unremarkable phenomenon, while catalogues in haredi cities and neighborhoods have also been scrubbed clean of any images of women in recent years. But this week, residents of haredi communities found a haredi version of the new IKEA catalogue in their mail boxes, featuring book cases full of volumes of the Talmud and Bible, display cases featuring Shabbat candlesticks, tables set for the Sabbath meal, and closets filled with white shirts and black suits, the standard haredi garb.
This special sectoral catalogue also includes pictures of haredi men and boys with long curly peot, or side-locks, black velvet yarmulkes and tzitzit, studying religious texts, and posing in various scenes of familial life. Unlike the standard IKEA catalogue however, no daughters, sisters or mothers accompany those fathers and sons.IKEA said in response to the story that “in response to requests we received, we decided to launch a catalogue that allows the religious and haredi community to enjoy looking at the products and solutions that IKEA offers, and to do so in accordance with their lifestyles.”