Seating Etiquette


My boyfriend and I went to an orthodox Grand Siyum Seder Moed. The shul was sephardic that put it on. I am used to a modern orthodox or conservative shul and my boyfriend is conservative. After sitting for a few minutes we realized the men and women were sitting on separate sides of the room. I had only seen this done in shul, not at a meal. We chose to stay at our table sort of in the middle in the back. We wondered if we would sit alone but another couple from that shul sat with us, and two other men with one child each-their wives at the women’s side of the room. my question is: were we being rude/disrespectful by not going to separate tables. We did not know anybody, I would have been sort of ok moving and being separate from my boyfriend but he would have been extremely uncomfortable. Neither of us knew ahead of time, nor did we realize that some orthodox sit separate at meals. I can handle this for the future and ask ahead of time but were we wrong to stay together at our table?



  1. Personally, I think that if no one told you anything – either during or after – then it is probably a sign that no one took offense! In many Orthodox Shuls today, the custom is that men and women sit separately for Shul affairs and not just for religious services. In any event, I truly hope that you and your boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

    Best wishes from the Team