Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Religious minister's staff adopts modesty codes

Since ultra-Orthodox MK Yakov Liztman took office as deputy health minister, female employees working with him have started wearing less revealing clothes in his presence. 'We respect his sensibilities,' one worker explains

Ari Galahar
Ynet/Israel Jewish Scene

(Contrary to the title of this article, I don't believe this is about adopting modesty codes. However, on the original page there was also the title "Consideration". I think this, better than any other word sums up something very special about Rav Liztman and his staff. One can only hope that it is contagious!)

The appointment of Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) as deputy health minister has led to a significant change in the ministry's offices: Secular female employees working in proximity to the ultra-Orthodox minister have started wearing more modest outfits, and some even keep a shawl at the their desk's drawer in case they are asked to meet with Litzman directly.
Litzman did not order this new "dress code," and staff members explain that the ministry's women simply felt it was more respectful towards the new boss.

One senior female employee, who has toned down her attire since Litzman took office, said there was no coercion involved in her decision to do so.

"As part of work procedures I meet with him regularly, and because I know he is a haredi person, I decided, along with other employees, to respect his sensibilities of my own free will, and put something on when I'm wearing a sleeveless or revealing blouse," she explained.

"It's not as if we now look like religious women or cover ourselves completely, but we do put on something extra. We don't want to make the minister feel uncomfortable when he's meeting us," she added.

One of Liztman's associate told Ynet that the employees' conduct was admirable, especially in light of the fact they had not been ordered to change their dress.

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