In Landmark Ruling, El Al Ordered To End Policy Of Asking Women To Move Seats


Flight stewards working for El Al cannot request female passengers to move seats to accommodate Charedi men who do not want to sit next to them, a court has ruled.

The landmark case was brought by 82-year old Holocaust survivor Renee Rabinowitz, who sued the airline for discrimination after being asked to move seats to accommodate an ultra-orthodox male passenger in 2015. When she challenged the practice, she was told by staff that the policy had been approved at board level.

Describing the controversial practice as “discriminatory”, judge Dana Cohen-Lekah ruled that “under absolutely no circumstances can a crew member ask a passenger to move from their designated seat because the adjacent passenger doesn’t want to sit next to them due to their gender”.

Speaking in a Jerusalem court on Wednesday, Cohen-Lekah added that the policy was a “direct transgression” of the Israeli discrimination laws relating to products and services. Read more at The Guardian.




  1. This judge is legislating from the bench. and in fact is discriminating against frum people. No one is forcing any one to give up their seat. I fly frequently and flight attendants are asked all the time to help change seats for many reasons. The most common is people who want to sit next to family members. Mothers with young children who need a better seat then the one they were able to buy, and a host of other reasons. I don’t know if I ever flew on a full flight where someone didn’t ask to change a seat. Of course since it’s usually not for religious reasons then its allowed. To single out one group of people for asking to help change a seat is discrimination. I would think a good lawyer could sue the other way

  2. The verdict is just & some type of situation should be put into effect so that frum men can request a male neighbor & only take a window or aisle seat.

  3. I think they are 100% right. If you are uncomfortable sitting next to a lady then you should move, not her. I would think V’hadarta pnei zaken comes before any chumroh in tznius in this case anyway.

  4. No problem. Just like they have non smoking sections have seperate male sections and female sections, that way nobody has to move.

  5. I hope this ridiculous anti-religious ruling is appealed.Since when is asking someone to voluntarily change their seat discriminatory???Oh right, it’s only discriminatory when it’s done to accommodate Jews, I bet it it was done to ia Catholic priest or nuns or a Muslim , there wouldn’t be “discrimination”.

  6. As some mention people ask to move all the time for all sorts of reasons. I’ve had to switch so someone can sit next to his girlfriend

  7. It’s not proper/polite to MAKE any person move – period (unless of course they are dangerous ). There is nothing wrong with REQUESTING a seat change. I, as a woman, have asked to be switched to be able to sit near a woman (especially when i was traveling to Israel alone for a simcha with a nursing baby) and they were able to accommodate my request. WHY does it have to come to this uncomfortable situation AT ALL? I agree with Anonymous above, why not create a separate seating section for men only and women only and another for mixed/family seating – for flights to/from Israel? Simple yet profound – ElAl can certainly be a trend setter in this area of choice seating and in this zechus, may Hashem continue to bless them with peaceful travels! Bhatzlacha!

  8. if the man is the one who does not want to sit in a seat next to a woman, how come he is not the person asked to move?

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