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Tuttle Aids Rabbis’ Group in Problem of Deserted Women

The office of the United States District Attorney will gladly cooperate with the Federation of Orthodox Rabbis of America, with headquarters at 198 E. Broadway, New York, in helping to solve the problem of Jewish women who were deserted by their husbands.

The matter is particularly acute in the cases of hundreds of Jewish women who reside in Europe and whose husbands have been lost track of in the United States. In addition to their economic plight because they have received no support for themselves and their children, these women cannot remarry, as they belong to the category known in Jewish religious law as “Agunoth,” women whose husbands’ whereabouts are not known. The problem of these women can be solved only by ascertaining the death of their husbands or by finding them and compelling them to give their deserted wives a formal divorce.

There are thousands of such women in Eastern Europe. The Rabbinate offices in various countries maintain special departments for the gathering of information about the lost husbands. These rabbinical offices are in touch with rabbinical offices in the United States, including the Federation of Orthodox Rabbis of America which maintains a special Agunoth Bureau. This bureau frequently invokes the aid of the authorities to compel missing husbands that have been found to fulfill their duty to the wives they deserted. In this connection the office of the District Attorney has been greatly helpful of late.

Mr. Tuttle, receiving a delegation of the Federation of Orthodox Rabbis, composed of Rabbi M. Eskolsky and Rabbi Neuman, assured them that his office would continue to cooperate with the rabbis in this social problem. Assistant U. S. Attorneys George Minzer and Edward Silver reported to Mr. Tuttle on hundreds of such cases disposed of.

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