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agunot

  • Knesset Considers Boosting Sanctions Against Husbands Who Won’t Grant Gets

    A new bill likely to pass the Knesset would strengthen sanctions the rabbinical courts could levy against husbands who refuse to grant divorces to their wives. The bill reflects an effort to improve the plight of thousands of Israeli women, called agunot, whose husbands will not give them a get, or Jewish divorce, and who,… More ▸

  • News Analysis: Deal with Shas Stalls Amid Renewed Debate over Religious Role in Israel

    Efforts to strengthen the Labor government coalition were frustrated once again this week when a deal with the fervently Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party stalled because of critics’ charges it would undermine Israel’s democracy and foster religious coercion. Labor leaders had hoped Shas members would rejoin the coalition late this week following a memo of understanding… More ▸

  • Israeli Women’s Groups Meet with Rabbis to Discuss Agunot

    Israel’s two chief rabbis have held a rare meeting with a women’s rights delegation pressing for solutions to the problem of agunot — women who cannot get a divorce because their husbands refuse to grant one or because the husbands cannot be located. After talking with the two rabbis on Monday, members of the women’s… More ▸

  • Agunah Activists Savor Positive Steps but Say Much Work is Still to Be Done

    They have been spit at, punched, ridiculed and cursed as whores. But the Orthodox feminists who have endured these insults in their efforts to bring the plight of women trapped in unwanted marriages to the attention of the Orthodox community had cause for some rejoicing recently. The Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of 1,000… More ▸

  • Orthodox Rabbis Adopt Resolution Making Prenuptial Pacts Mandatory

    After a decade of debate and negotiation, a leading group of Orthodox rabbis has approved steps designed to resolve the problem of people trapped in marriages because their spouses refuse to grant them a divorce. Because under Jewish law it is the man who must issue the religious divorce, the trapped partner is nearly always… More ▸

  • Women’s Prayer Group Davens in London Amid Strong Emotions

    Only the sound of emotional tears disturbed the reverent hush of prayer last weekend as more than 60 women gathered for the first women-only Shabbat service to be sanctioned by Britain’s chief rabbi. The historic gathering, at a private house in northwest London, was greeted with delight and not a little relief by the members… More ▸

  • Nakash Extradition Ban to End

    The Jerusalem rabbinical court backed away Tuesday from its halachic ruling that the extradition of William Nakash be delayed for six months or longer out of consideration for his wife. After a lengthy session Tuesday, the court announced its ban would end on Dec. 1. The Supreme Court has already ordered Nakash’s extradition to France,… More ▸

  • Court Rejects Nakash’s Extradition Appeal; Lawyer to Seek French Help

    The Supreme Court Thursday rejected an appeal against extradition by William Nakash, an Algerian-born Jew convicted and sentenced in absentia by a French court three years ago for the murder of an Arab in Besancon, a city in northeastern France. But Nakash’s lawyer, Ronald Rot, has appealed to Premier Yitzhak Shamir not to sign the… More ▸

  • Religious Fundamentalism Denounced

    A strong denunciation of religious fundamentalism marked the opening session of the European Conference of the International Council of Jewish Women in Zurich Monday. The gathering, which drew 230 delegates from European countries, including Hungary and Leila Seigel, president of the ICJW, declared in her opening address, “We are disturbed by the progress of religious… More ▸