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Family Sues after Haredim Call them ‘Shiksas’

Can it be a four-star hotel if you can smell the sewer system from your room?
Haredim on holiday in Tiberias. A family sued a travel agency that misrepresented a hotel package fpr Passover in Tiberias. It ended up being expensive and extremely uncomfortable.

Haredim on holiday in Tiberias. A family sued a travel agency that misrepresented a hotel package fpr Passover in Tiberias. It ended up being expensive and extremely uncomfortable.
Photo Credit: Neil Ward

A family that purchased a vacation package in a hotel in Tiberias has sued the travel agency that sold them the deal because of false promises and for being humiliated by the Haredi guests at the same hotel.

In the February of 2012, the plaintiffs in a suit at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court purchased a 2-night package for the Passover vacation at the Metzuda hotel in Tiberias from a travel agency, Mynet reports. The package included 3 rooms for 8 people, full board, cost 7,500 shekel (about $2,100), paid in advance.

But, according to the lawsuit, what the family was offered in return for their money was less than satisfactory. The state of maintenance in the hotel, including the rooms and other facilities, was poor and neglected, starting with odors from the sewer system and ending with filthy rooms.

Also, despite the promises to the contrary made by the agency, just about all the other guests at the hotel were Haredim, with the family members found no basis for communication. In fact, according to the mother, “in the hotel they yelled ‘shiksa’ at my daughters, because they wore pants.”

The term ‘shiksa’ is an Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew word sheketz-vermin, in the female form. It used to be a putdown name for gentile women, but has been in wide use by Haredim looking to humiliate non-Haredi Jewish women in Israel, including non-Haredi religious women.

Attempts to contact the agency for a change of venue failed, and when they finally reached a real person, they were deaf to their complaints, goes the lawsuit. The family refused to remain at the hotel under those conditions and drove back home.

The agency explained in court that a representative who happened to be staying at the same hotel was on hand, and spoke to the plaintiffs several times. It also denied presenting Metzuda as a four-star hotel. It’s only a three-star hotel.

You can tell the difference, because in a four-star hotel you don’t smell the sewer system quite as much.

As to the Haredi guests – they can’t quite be made responsible for who else is vacationing at the same hotel.

But the agency CEO did not deny that the family was told the guests would be comprised of “members of all shades of the religious public.”

The judge was sympathetic to the plaintiffs, who were asking for a little over $11,000 in damages. But he accused them of not taking the initiative in verifying just what kind of hotel they were going to. The most cursory search online would have provided them with ample information and, possibly, helped them change their package while there was still time.

He also asked what kind of hotel were they expecting for what came down to $130 per person with full room and board?

On the other hand, in a country rife with so much sensitivity and strife between different streams and denominations within what is known as the “religious public,” it was the duty of the travel agency to go out of its way to make sure the match between their clients and the package was a good one. After all, that’s why we use travel agency and not pick a package off the Internet.

The final verdict was in favor of the plaintiffs, but with the agency being made to pay back only 5,200 shekel, plus attorney’s fees to the tune of 3,500 shekel, altogether about $2,400.

A spokesperson for the travel agency, Margaliot, told Mynet that they had offered the family to pay them back the entire $2,100, but they, apparently, saw an opportunity to get rich quick. Now both sides ended up losing, needlessly.

Get rich quick on $11 thousand? Seriously?

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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9 Responses to “Family Sues after Haredim Call them ‘Shiksas’”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    All these people were entitled to was to be made whole. The travel agent offered them a full refund of the 7,500 shekels they paid. Yet they took the issue to court, suing for approximately 40,000 shekels. The judge still awarded them 8,700, of which 3,500 went to pay the lawyer. They gambled and lost, although not big-time.

    I don't feel bad for them.

  2. Cody Flecker says:

    Folks, this is Israel. Do you expect any different. Just be glad that you are in the Holy Land.

  3. Anthony Davis says:

    HOly land? The entire earth is "holy land" b/c God made the entire earth, not just Israel. Jesus doesn't hold one land above another.

  4. Anthony Davis says:

    HOly land? The entire earth is "holy land" b/c God made the entire earth, not just Israel. Jesus doesn't hold one land above another.

  5. Anthony Davis says:

    HOly land? The entire earth is "holy land" b/c God made the entire earth, not just Israel. Jesus doesn't hold one land above another.

  6. Anthony Davis . According to Tanach, you are wrong. Not every creature is holy, simply because God created it.

  7. I might understand no liking hotel, but again, you get what you paid for. But blaming travel agency for someone, allegedly, called their daughter shiksa? Did they replied, allegedly, with anything back?

  8. Dan, these people just did not like the other guests of the hotel, haredim, everything else was addons. The best defense is to attack. And, they are the only ones who could smell?

  9. Faye Stiller Sued says:

    DID THESE PEOPLE FORGET, HOW THEY WOULD SPIT ON "US' WHEN THEY HAD THE ROUND UPS "CALLED US DIRTY JEWS" IT DID NOT MATTER IF WE HAD A WIG ON OR NOT. SO TO CONSIDER THEMSELVES THE ONLY TRUE JEWS. AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE. I HAD THE SAME SITUATION HERE IN BROOKLYN. WHY I GO TO AN ORTHODOX SHUL. I GUESS NOT JEWISH ENOUGH.

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