The actress was on the receiving end of a honorary doctorate in Philosophy from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University when she spoke of her concerns over the treatment of women within the community of Orthodox Jews in Israel.
Streisand called what she had read about the community distressing. She said women in the community had to sit at the rear of buses and they have had chains thrown at them while attempting to peacefully pray within the law.
She also spoke of the sadness she felt to hear that women were still banned from singing at ceremonies open to the public.
A rights group in Israel has recently protested that women have the right to pray at the Western Wall just as men do. The tradition has always been that only men are able to worship there and read from the Torah.
Streisand said there was not easy way to find a solution. She is scheduled to perform at two Tel Aviv concerts and to sing at the birthday party of Shimon Peres, Israel’s President.
Streisand stressed that inequality was not just in Israel. She said women today in the U.S. still only earn 80 cents for every dollar that a man earns.
Streisand was receiving her second honorary doctorate. She was given one in Human Letters in 1995 from Massachusetts’ Brandeis University.