After numerous requests over the years, the Nature and Parks Authority has agreed to a pilot program of separate swimming times for men and women at the Einot Tzukim nature reserve near the Dead Sea.
“In recent years, we have received many requests and inquiries from tourists who are interested in separate bathing at public nature reserves in the Parks Authority’s jurisdiction,” the Parks Authority wrote on its website.
“We are trying to find a solution for this community of tourists who, without having a separate pool, would be prevented from enjoying this natural resource like the rest of the general public,” the Authority said.
The Authority assured the non-religious public that the program will have “minimal impact” on their swimming times.
In fact, the program is quite limited. Over four days this month, the nature reserve’s two lower wading pools will host segregated swimming sessions until noon, with women using the pools on the seventh and fourteenth of the month and men on the tenth and seventeenth. The main pool will not be affected.
Upon conclusion of the pilot, the Parks Authority said it will examine the results “in depth” and decide “if and how to proceed with this process.”
Einot Tzukim, a popular site located near Qumran, consists of a series of small wading pools fed by a network of rivulets, as well as a larger swimming pool.