Religious quiz for parking permit ends

July 6, 2001

Bar-Ilan University's management has decided to cancel its practice of issuing two types of parking permits: one for religious lecturers and the other for their secular colleagues.

The decision follows a complaint by a lecturer at the university that, after requesting a parking permit, he was grilled about whether he drove on the Sabbath.

According to an old policy, religious lecturers were given special parking permits bearing the logo of the university, a microscope intertwined with a Torah scroll. (The logo is supposed to represent the university's unique combination of modern scientific research and Jewish learning.) Those who did not observe the Sabbath were given permits with just a parking number.

David Weinberg, the university spokesman, said: "The practice of distributing two types of parking permits was an attempt to avoid offending the feelings of religious people, so that they would not find the university's logo, which includes a Torah book, on cars [whose owners drive] on the Sabbath.

"Lecturers who refused to answer the question as to whether they drive on the Sabbath received a permit without the university's logo."

Mr Weinberg added that many years ago - after complaints of discrimination by some lecturers - the administration decided to take steps to cancel the two types of permits.

He said that "following questions by [a reporter from the newspaper] I, the university president decided to cancel the questions about whether lecturers travel on the Sabbath. It is a pity the practice was not changed years ago."

The majority, 60 per cent, of Bar-Ilan's students are religious. The remainder are secular.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns