Orthodox school bans mothers from wearing long wigs, bright nail polish

Josefin Dolsten

(JTA) — A haredi Orthodox school in Brooklyn raised ire online after it issued a strict dress code — for the parents of its students.

The Chabad-affiliated Bnos Menachem school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, sent a letter last week to parents inform parents of the code, which bans denim, tight clothes, and leggings and requires nail polish to be in “conservative/soft colors,” wigs to not go past the shoulder blades, skirts to be mid-calf length and elbows, feet and the neckline to be completely covered.

The letter, posted on CrownHeights.info and on Twitter, does not stipulate any specific dress requirements for men.

“It should not be hard to meet these requirements, as our students need to keep similar rules and it is imperative that the home and the school follow the same standards. By showing our girls how to dress with finesse, they will have good, true hassidische role models,” says the letter, signed by school director Motty Gurary.

“Parents who adhere to these rules will be welcomed in Bnos Menachem School,” the letter later continues. It asks parents to sign a contract agreeing to follow the dress code.

It is not uncommon for haredi Orthodox schools to mandate dress codes for students and parents, but Bnos Menachem’s rules seem to have struck a nerve with some Crownheights.info readers. Others defended the school’s right to set rules as it saw fit.

“Really overstepping the boundaries,” wrote one commenter. Another responded: “It’s a private school. Don’t like the rules, don’t send your children there.”

“Great. Please write s [sic] letter for the standard for the fathers. Thank you,” wrote another reader.

Gurary did not immediately return a request for comment by JTA.