Constitutional Places: Kiryas Joel Opens Sex-Segregated Playground

April 15th, 2013

Remember Board of Education of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet, where the Supreme Court held that an Orthodox Jewish sect, which effectively took over a school board, was in violation of the Establishment Clause? Well, they’re back.

he reportedly first sex-segregated public playground in the country has been opened in Kiryas Joel, the ultra-Orthodox enclave in Monroe, NY.

According to, Kiryas Joel’s Satmar Hasidic community has built on 283 acres on the city’s outskirts a playground that completely separates boys from girls. More accurately, the space is divided into four areas: one for fathers with their sons; one for mothers with their daughters; one for boys, and one for girls. The sections are located a considerable distance apart from one another. There are also separate walking trails for males and females.

According to, non-Jews and non-Haredi Jews will not be permitted to enter the playground

The story is unclear if this is really a public park, or if it is a park that is open to the public. I imagine if any federal or state money was used for this project, it is probably illegal.