Sharia-Compliant Swimming Threatened by City’s Refusal to ‘Guarantee’ Female Lifeguard (Oh Wait…)
WILLIAMSBURG — Hundreds of female Hasidic swimmers may be unable to take the plunge this summer because the city “can’t guarantee” a kosher pool.
Parks Department officials have refused to promise a female lifeguard for women-only swim sessions at WIlliamsburg’s Metropolitan Pool.
That means Hasidic swimmers, who claim it’s against their tradition to swim with a man present, mayt have to stop attending thrice weekly swim sessions when their usual lifeguard takes her vacation from the pool in July and August.
“They can’t guarantee it, but they’ll try their best,” Ed Janoff, the leader of North Brooklyn Parks and the director of the Open Space Alliance which works in partnership with the Parks Department, said of the city’s appointment of a female guard.
“The chances are probably nine out of ten, but they can’t guarantee it.”
Even if the city does find a female guard for some of the sessions, Hasidic leaders said the women would have trouble finding out when she was on duty.
“Nobody’s telling them who the lifeguard is when they call the pool,” said Rabbi David Niederman, a Williamsburg and Greenpoint Community Board 1 member and the leader of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.
Janoff said he would work to make the information more accessible for the women.
Swimmer Rose Herschkowitz, who spoke up at a Community Board 1 meeting, has said she requested a female lifeguard the past two years as well.
Babushka suggests that they should invite Muslim ladies to participate in the “ladies only” swim times. Not only would this be a great opportunity for interfaith cooperation, it would be totally worth it just to watch Pamela Geller’s head explode.