How do charedi Jews do hygge, the Nordic coziness concept that infuses Ikea? Judging from the pages of the catalog recently made expressly for the design giant’s Israeli ultra-Orthodox clientele, they do it without a woman in sight.
The catalog, which Ikea Israel says was produced “by popular demand,” features the same Ikea classics we’ve all come to love (or loathe), but in a Jewish, entirely male domestic space. The brand’s customizable wardrobes are filled with pressed — by whom, we wonder? — white shirts and black dress pants. Billy bookcases strain under volumes of the Talmud, and boys with payes eat breakfast at a sister- and mother-free table.
Israel’s charedi community has come under fire before for its penchant for erasing women from photos, but there’s fresh irony in intentionally staging a Jewish home without women for the benefit of men. (Ikea since has distanced itself from and apologized for the catalog, explaining that it was made by the Israeli operation, without consulting HQ.) Inadvertently, though, men photographed pouring juice in their Sektion kitchens almost seem to volunteer to take on more responsibility at home.
Perhaps all the Jewish women are just on vacation. Cue a parallel, women-only edition shot in Ibiza, complete with the Applaro deck furniture collection?