Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Muslim Mechitzahs

This week at CCNY is Muslim awareness week! That means that Muslim students are doing mivtzoim all around the campus. Tonight there was a lecture titled "The Veil Unveiled: Women in Islam" or something like that. There was a "sisters' side" and a "brothers' side" which was separated by a genuine mechitzah made out of black cloth hung over poles. The lecturer sat at a desk in front where he could see both sides. It was really mechitzahlike. Afterwards there was free food. Just like any respectable kiddush, the men and women--ahem, brothers and sisters--ate separately. I thought that was kind of cute.


  1. I think Chabad Houses should use the terms Brothers and Sisters - albeit with our Ethnic Soul Accent - Brothas and Sistas - let me hear it now!

  2. Brothers and sisters? Where did that come from? Sounds like they're channeling some malcolm X.

  3. this wasn't Nation of Islam. This was plain old fashioned Islam. Either Muslims really call people their brothers and sisters, or they thought it would make us feel welcome.

  4. Sounds like fun :)

    Reminds me of our Friday night. We had 14 Arabs (from Arab countries) at our Shabbos table. But we had a mixture of Muslims and Christians.

    In other news, today I put on "Krenitz" in preschool and made me this of this here blog.

  5. How did Arabs end up at the shabbos table?

    I'm honored and flattered that you thought of this little blog.

  6. Well, I'm on shlichus at a fairly prestigious university. A group of students got together and decided to approach the Arab/American conflict and see what they could do to have both sides understand each other. So they brought 15 Arabs (from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Syria) to this university in American for a weekend conference. Each Arab student was paired up with a student from here, and there was a scheduled conference.

    The facilitators of the event thought it would just be too obvious to ignore the Jewish issue, so they approached Chabad and asked us if we would host them all for Shabbos. After quite a bit of deliberation, it was decided that we would allow them to join us. (1, at least, refused to step into a Jewish home and did not come.)

    You should be, 'tis a great blog.

  7. So Chabad is getting multi-cultural and open minded in these modern times?

    You teach preschool at a prestigious university?

    "Great" seems a bit of an overstatement, but whatever.

  8. Well, Chabad Rabbi was not too keen on the idea. Chabad Student Board thought it was a great opportunity. We compromised... Rabbi said if we're gonna have non-Jews, we need an overwhelming number of Jews. So, while a typical Friday night here attracts about 30 students, we had close to 100 this past Friday night.

    I work more than one job. I teach preschool Monday-Friday full-time, and am campus evenings and weekends.

    K, fine, good. Better?

  9. Oohhh I wonder which uni? I probably know people/and or met some? (I was at the college girls Bais Chana thing this past January).

  10. Nebbich. THe Muslims at Brooklyn College never heard of a mechitza and when I overheard them lobbying for a second room I explained it to them. They thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread (or shaving your mustache while growing a lubavitch beard.)


Forth shall ye all hold.