Orthodox newspapers REFUSE to publish photos of Jewish women running for office

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The first Orthodox Jewish woman to run for a New York City Council seat from her Brooklyn borough has been forced to run campaign ads without her image in local newspapers that will not print images of women.

Amber Adler, 37, is a candidate in the June 22 primary for a city council seat representing District 48, an area that includes the heavily Orthodox enclaves of Borough Park and Midwood in southern Brooklyn.

But unlike men in her position who run for office, Adler’s face will not appear in local Orthodox Jewish newspapers in the area, as photographs of women are banned for religious reasons.

Editors fear that readers will turn away from publications depicting women so that men can “guard their eyes” against potentially arousing images.

To reach potential voters, Adler has used both social media and door-to-door recruiting.

Her campaign ads in the local papers instead feature photos of her two young sons in campaign, which readers say are acceptable. POLITICS.

Amber Adler, 37, is the first Orthodox Jewish woman to run for a seat on the New York City Council from her borough of Brooklyn

Amber Adler, 37, is the first Orthodox Jewish woman to run for a seat on the New York City Council from her borough of Brooklyn

Unlike men in her position who run for office, Adler is unable to show her face to potential voters who read local Orthodox Jewish newspapers in the area, as readers may turn away from publications depicting women.  Her campaign had this ad in the local Orthodox press, featuring her two young sons

Unlike men in her position who run for office, Adler is unable to show her face to potential voters who read local Orthodox Jewish newspapers in the area, as readers may turn away from publications depicting women. Her campaign had this ad in the local Orthodox press, featuring her two young sons

On social media, Adler may run campaign ads displaying her likeness

On social media, Adler may run campaign ads displaying her likeness

“It forced me to get very creative,” Adler told POLITICO when asked about the de facto ban on female effigies in the Orthodox press.

In an ad that appeared in the Flatbush Jewish Journal, Adler’s two young boys – ages 7 and 9 – are seen on a sidewalk. One of them is holding a sign that says ‘Vote 4 mommy’.

“They have endlessly supported my campaign,” Adler told POLITICO.

The Flatbush Jewish Journal is one of several Orthodox publications in the New York City Tristate area whose pages feature only men.  The front page of the latest issue reads high-ranking Israeli politicians:

The Flatbush Jewish Journal is one of several Orthodox publications in the New York City Tristate area whose pages feature only men. The front page of the latest issue reads high-ranking Israeli politicians:

“Part of my platform and pitch to voters is my experience as a single working mom.”

Adler adds, “If I can’t use my own photo to get that message across, my boys can.”

DailyMail.com has reached out to both Adler and the Flatbush Jewish Journal for comment.

In recent years, several newspapers serving an Orthodox Jewish readership have removed high-profile female leaders from their pages so that men can “guard their eyes” against potentially rousing images.

Orthodox Jewish law forbids men from masturbating or releasing semen not intended for procreation.

In recent years, an Israel-based sect of Orthodox Judaism that strictly adheres to religious law began the practice of removing women from billboards and publications.

Ten years ago, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper, Di Tzeitung, sparked anger in the United States by removing the image of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the famous photo of the White House Situation Room during Osama bin Laden’s raid. came to life.

Orthodox Jewish publications have sprayed older women out of photos in recent years, including the photo above showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel (third from right) marching with other world leaders in Paris after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Orthodox Jewish publications have sprayed older women out of photos in recent years, including the photo above showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel (third from right) marching with other world leaders in Paris after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre.

An Israeli newspaper, Hamodia, has airbrushed Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and then Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt the photo of world leaders marching in the French capital after the massacre at the satirical newspaper's offices

An Israeli newspaper, Hamodia, has airbrushed Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and then Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt the photo of world leaders marching in the French capital after the massacre at the satirical newspaper’s offices

In 2015, an Israeli newspaper, Hamodia, airbrushed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and then Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to a photo of world leaders marching in the French capital after the massacre at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The practice that became commonplace in Israel has also been increasingly adopted in recent years in the local Orthodox press serving communities in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and parts of New Jersey.

It is rare for an Orthodox Jewish woman to seek leadership in a community where men have long been regarded as the public faces to represent her interests.

Adler runs on a platform that, among other things, makes it easier for Orthodox Jewish women to get a divorce, also called a ‘get’ in religious law.

Ten years ago, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper, Di Tzeitung, sparked anger in the United States by removing the image of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the famous photo of the White House Situation Room during Osama bin Laden's raid. came to life.

Ten years ago, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper, Di Tzeitung, sparked anger in the United States by removing the image of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the famous photo of the White House Situation Room during Osama bin Laden’s raid. came to life.

The photo that Clinton deleted can be seen above in the Orthodox publication Di Tzitung

The photo that Clinton deleted can be seen above in the Orthodox publication Di Tzitung

In Orthodox Judaism, a woman is only allowed to get a “get” if the husband has approved it.

If the husband refuses, the wife can file a divorce petition with a rabbinical court. Until the court settles the case, the woman is considered an ‘agunah’ – meaning ‘chained’ in Hebrew.

Adler, who spent two years as an “agunah” herself, wants the state legislature to make it a felony to prohibit a woman from divorcing.

She told POLITICO that she is focusing her campaign on the issues she wants to promote and that she is not martyring herself because her photo is not published in the local Orthodox press.

“I’ve had to accept that, okay, I can’t be in the papers. I guess I should knock on more doors,” Adler said.

“Ultimately, I am running for the city council to represent the issues and policies that affect the daily lives of girls, women and mothers.

“I’m willing to put aside the issue of using my photo for a seat at the table.”

In 2019, another Orthodox Jewish woman, Adina Miles Sash, ran for a seat on the city council. She’s from a neighboring Brooklyn district.

Sash is the first Orthodox Jewish woman to seek public office in Brooklyn.

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