Haredi newspapers were able to do something on Monday they haven’t done for 70 years: print a picture of the British monarch on the front pages of their newspapers, since it is now a man.
For the past 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has never been portrayed in the haredi press – comprised mainly of print newspapers – since in these communities photos of women are banned for modesty reasons.
Israeli haredi pop singer and opinion leader Yishai Lapidot tweeted that “for the first time in decades, the haredi media will be able to publish photos of the British monarch.”
Lapidot added a photo of today’s Marcaz Hainyanim tabloid newspaper, which published an article whose underline read: “he is the grandson of [a woman who is considered] among the ‘Righteous of the Nations’ and a friend of the British Jewish community.”
Recent changes in Israeli haredi media
The haredi press has been going through changes in recent years regarding the photos of women, yet most of the print outlets will still abide by the ban, led by rabbinic figures. The English-speaking version of the weekly Mishpacha Magazine has already begun using photos of women, mainly in the online edition.
In 2018, The Forward published an article explaining that “the Orthodox magazine Mishpacha appears to have reversed its previous policy against publishing images of women — at least on its social media channels.”
In an email to subscribers last week, the magazine announced that it had begun to ramp up its social media presence. The email included a photo of three women. Mishpacha said that it is just a move related to the social media platforms, not yet the newspaper, yet sources in Mishpacha have recently said that it is also going to happen, at least in the international edition.
Another progress is that the haredi news outlets in the US are almost all online, whereas in Israel, the same outlet won’t have any online presence. Since most of the journalists in these outlets are on social media, some of these outlets in Israel have a certain social media presence but not an official site.
When Hillary Clinton was nominated for president of the US, there were concerns over how to publish daily newspapers in Israel and the US without displaying the photo of the president, if she were to be elected.
On May 2, 2011, Clinton was eliminated from a photo while serving as secretary of state in an iconic image of key White House policymakers watching for confirmation that SEAL Team Six had succeeded in capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. The Photoshop elimination of Clinton was highly criticized by both Jewish and non-Jewish figures.