JERUSALEM – Entertainer Barbra Streisand waded into one of Israel’s touchiest issues this week on the first major stop of her tour of the country — Jewish religious practices that separate men and women.

Speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday, where she received an honorary doctorate, she took aim at cases of ultra-Orthodox Jews targeting women, even as she warmly praised the country.

“I realize it’s not easy to fully grasp the dynamics of what happens in a foreign land,” she said. But “it’s distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus …” She was referring to isolated incidents in which ultra-Orthodox men tried to force women to sit separately at the rear of buses that go through their neighborhoods.