This post first appeared on The Sisterhood blog at the Forward.
I never really paid close attention to the street signs in Jerusalem until a couple of years ago, when I missed an important turn onto Golda Meir Blvd. I missed the turn because the local Haredim had erased the print on the sign. They were obviously far more concerned about removing a woman’s name — let alone her image — from a sign than about drivers such as myself getting lost.
So I am sensitive about matters having to do with Jerusalem street signs, especially when feminist issues are involved. It’s no surprise, then, that I took note of a story Jerusalem councilmember Rachel Azaria posted on her Facebook page about a group of high school students who took it upon themselves to address the fact that signs for streets named after female biblical figures identify the women only by their relationship to men. Meanwhile, the signs for the male characters include full-blown descriptions of their significance to the biblical narrative and the Jewish people.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.