Brooklyn, NY - Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is blasting SUNY Downstate Medical Center and its physical therapy program for revoking an accommodation which had previously allowed observant Jewish women enrolled in the program to practice therapy on other women instead of on men, in keeping with the Jewish laws of modesty. Hikind notes that this accommodation will not hinder instruction in any way because there are enough students in the class of the same gender on whom to practice.
The six religious women currently affected have also been told that they must dress in tank tops and shorts during course instruction in view of the entire class. The students were not notified until after they had already registered for classes that the prior accommodations for both their dress code and their instructional practice were no longer in effect.
“What kind of chutzpah is this?” an outraged Hikind asked. “I cannot believe that we are still fighting these kinds of battles in 2011. Getting an education should not come at the expense of one’s religious tenets. It is deplorable that SUNY Downstate is trying to force these bright young women to choose between modesty and their career. We are demanding that these students immediately be granted religious accommodations.”
Read more at Vos is Neias.
What they should do is recruit some Muslim students.
But, in all seriousness, there is a valid reason for requiring the students to wear tank tops and shorts as a critical part of their training. This is how they are able to identify musculature and see how different muscle groups work. This is not how they will dress out in the real world. A woman who is squeamish about touching a man, or vice versa, in a legitimate medical situation, is what the sages call "a pious idiot." They should not be training for a medical profession.
Babushka's daughter graduated from SUNY Downstate at the top of her class.