Longtime residents of Central Brooklyn have had little problem referring to areas with large populations of African- and Caribbean- Americans as “black neighborhoods,” and respectively, those who live in these areas are quick to ask newcomers to respect the culture that already exists.
Well, then, should it be a problem in predominantly Hasidic Jewish areas of the city when community members also ask newcomers to respect their culture?
A new sign has surfaced in Crown Heights– an area with a heavy Hasidic Jewish population– asking residents, guests and visitors to “Please Dress Modestly. This is a Jewish Neighborhood.”
But what, on the surface, seems a fair and reasonable request has managed still to make enough folks bristle:
The bristlers argue that dictating a dress code in outdoor spaces is going a little too far. Entering a Hasidic home or synagogue in a bathing suit top and short-shorts is just plain inconsiderate. But on a public sidewalk to get from point A to B, people have the right to dress in seasonal clothing.
The movement to dress more conservatively seems to be picking up steam in areas such as Crown Heights, as a show of increased solidarity for the conflict in Israel (see: recent campaign to encourage little girls to practice modesty in exchange for ice cream).
So what are your thoughts? Should respect for one’s culture extend to the way one dresses, as proscribed within the confines of one neighborhood? Or is that going too far?
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