Renowned for his successful defense of a career genital mutilator in Michigan, Dershowitz should have no trouble successfully defending an Israeli burial society that barred a family from their father’s/husband’s funeral because some of the people who wanted to bury him were women.
Talia, Omer, and Stav’s father passed away four months ago. When they arrived at the cemetery to say their final goodbyes to their father, they were barred from participating equally in the funeral. The local hevra kadisha – burial society – wouldn’t let the family eulogize their father. When a representative of the hevra kadisha tore their brother’s shirt as a sign of mourning, the daughters were told to do it later, at home. And when it came time for the funeral procession, Talia, Omer, Stav, and their mother were warned to remain behind and not follow their father’s body to the graveside. They ignored the warning and were met with yelling: “Women move aside!”, “Don’t mix women and men!”, and “Women shouldn’t be here!”
The sisters felt that their chance to say goodbye to their father was ruined. They turned to us, and last week we filed a lawsuit against the town in which the funeral was held demanding 268,496 NIS (approx. $76,000) in damages for preventing Talia, Omer, Stav, and their mother from participating in their father’s funeral.
... It is illegal to force gender segregation or exclude women from … funeral procession[s] … [B]urial societies must not impose segregation unless the family requests it.