The thousands of Jewish women whose husbands had disappeared during the late World War should not be considered as “Agunoths” and should be free to remarry, declares a resolution adopted recently by the conference of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in London, which was submitted to that body by the World Organization of Jewish Women, of which Mrs. Alexander Kohut is president and Mrs. Estelle M. Sternberger is secretary.
In acting upon the plea of the World Organization of Jewish Women that the Jewish divorce laws be modified in reference to certain recognized problems, with particular reference to the Agunoths, the World Union for Progressive Judaism resolved:
1. That women should be on a footing of perfect equality with men as regards marriage and divorce.
2. That the thousands of Jewish women who have lost track of their husbands in the late World War, from whom they have not heard and who presumably are dead, must be considered as released from their technical condition of “Agunoths” and should be considered as free and legally entitled to remarriage.
3. That the non-performance of Chalitza, (which a childless widow must, according to Jewish Orthodox law, receive from her late husband’s brother before she is allowed to remarry) because of the abuses which have grown up in connection with this ceremony and which have cruelly impaired the rights of women and have imposed unfair hardship upon them, should no longer be an impediment to her remarriage.