Israeli orchestra cuts women from concert line-up

A concert featuring three Israeli performers has been removed from an Ashdod orchestra's schedule after religious audience members objected to its inclusion.

The Israel Prize-winning Andalusian Orchestra, which specialises in Sephardic music, originally planned to feature the three women in one concert of its January series.

But to have adult women singing in front of men is considered a violation of Jewish law in strictly Orthodox circles.

According to Haaretz, after concertgoers threatened to cancel their subscriptions the orchestra's managers decided to cancel the event and hold it as a separate show outside the main programme.

Last month the Israeli Army faced criticism over plans to transfer four female soldiers from their unit because a group of Orthodox male soldiers were set to join.

    Last updated: 5:35pm, October 5 2011