Rabbinate of Uruguay to require rabbinic prenup

(JTA) — The Rabbinate of Uruguay is requiring Jewish couples marrying under its auspices to sign a rabbinic prenuptial agreement.

Under the agreement, in the case of a couple that is divorcing civilly, the husband must give his wife a divorce under Jewish law, or a get, the South American country’s Rabbinate said Wednesday in a statement.

Chief Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz, along with a legal and judicial committee, determined a version that is appropriate under both Jewish and Uruguay laws.

The requirement was initiated by Sara Winkowski, a director of the Jewish Community of Uruguay Kehila. She is also a vice president of the World Jewish Congress and a longtime activist for the rights of women within Jewish law.

Uruguay has seen a growing number of cases of husbands refusing to give their wives a get, leaving them as agunot, or chained wives unable to remarry, Spitz said in the statement.

In addition to not conducting marriages of couples who will not sign the prenuptial agreement, the Montevideo-based Kehila, which keeps the registry of Jewish weddings in the community dating back to 1950, will no longer enter into the registry or issue certificates of Judaism to families who do not sign the agreement.

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