Rabbis Assail Assembly on Divorce Law
Menu JTA Search

Rabbis Assail Assembly on Divorce Law

Download PDF for this date

Modification of the Jewish religious divorce law for women deserted by their husbands, which was adopted recently by the Rabbinical Assembly of America, was declared “contrary to the Jewish law” at a conference of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, held Wednesday at the Broadway Central Hotel.

The conference, in which more than 200 Jewish orthodox rabbis participated, declared the Union would excommunicate any rabbi who officiates at the second marriage of a Jewish woman who had received a divorce under the modification introduced by the Rabbinical Assembly. This modification provides that the marriage contract contain a special clause permitting the wife to obtain a Jewish religious divorce if the husband deserts her for three years.


The conference was presided over by Rabbi Joseph Konvitz of Newark, N. J., president of the Union. In his address, Rabbi Konvitz pointed out that the Rabbinical Assembly, which represents the Conservative rabbis in America, was “not competent to deal with the divorce law.” He attacked the members of the Rabbinical Assembly as “so-called rabbis, who do not know the Torah.”

The decision to combat the “marriage contract” introduced by the Rabbinical Assembly was adopted at the conference of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis unanimously. Each member of the Union was obligated to deliver a special address in his synagogue on the incompetence of the Rabbinical Assembly.

According to the decision adopted by the conference, any divorces granted under “marriage contracts” introduced by the Rabbinical Assembly are to be considered invalid.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund