A New York City municipal pool that maintains female-only hours so that Hasidic Jewish women can swim with no men present has raised alarms among critics who say the accommodation to a particular religious group violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
But defenders say the women-only swim sessions at the Metropolitan Recreation Center give women whose community separates the sexes a rare chance to exercise.
“Why deprive them?” said New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents a heavily Orthodox Jewish district in Brooklyn. “Really, you’re not taking away from anyone else.”
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