5 Towns Jewish Times reports that MetLife Stadium, the Meadowlands home of the Giants and Jets, is building a “mechitzah across the entire stadium to accommodate separate seating for men and women. The mechitzah will run through all seating levels. The result: over 20,000 seats available for a women’s section.”
What I love about this story is that it’s not until the fourth paragraph that you learn that the mechitzah is being erected for August’s Siyum HaShas, a celebration of Talmud study expected to draw tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews.
(In fairness, the author has fun with the idea of a permanent mechitzah at a major sports stadium, asking, “Will women now be able to perform ‘the wave’ at sports events with complete privacy?”)
The article is chockablock with interesting details, including the price tag (“no less than a quarter of a million dollars”), advice that the cost of a ticket is tax-deductible (“no different than purchasing a High Holy Day seat in a synagogue” — who knew?), and a suggestion that, strictly speaking, the mechitzah isn’t even required:
One can debate whether a mechitzah is actually necessary at this event. Yet, to encourage all segments of the Orthodox population to attend, there is no question that having a mechitzah is important.
But my favorite, favorite line in the story is this:
Negotiations to build this mechitzah could not have been easy.
And G-d forbid you ask anybody involved.