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  • Acri Study Finds Shortcomings in Guaranteeing Israelis’ Rights

    Israel walks a complicated, often conflicted path when it comes to protecting civil rights, according to a leading civil rights group here. In a 260-page report issued this week, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel examined to what degree the Israeli government affords basic civil rights to the population in general and to specific… More ▸

  • British Jew Ostracized for Denying Spouse a `get’

    A Jewish religious court in Great Britain has issued a ruling forbidding Orthodox Jews from eating, drinking or sitting within six feet of a 43-year old Jewish man because he refuses to give his wife a “get,” or Jewish divorce. It Moses David still refuses to appear before the Beit Din, further restrictions might be… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Newly Packaged Prenuptials Encourage Jewish Court Divorces

    When Ben and Shafrira Wiener were planning their wedding three years ago, they decided to sign a prenuptial agreement. This prenuptial agreement was not intended to protect their assets from each other in case they split. It was a newly developed document that, when signed by both of them, would compel them to go to… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Orthodox `Get Wars’ Turn Ugly As Young Girls Are Married off

    The "get wars" in the fervently Orthodox community are turning uglier, and the latest victims are girls younger than 12. As many as 20 girls who have not yet reached the traditional Jewish age of majority have been unknowingly married off by their fathers, according to Orthodox sources familiar with the cases. The fathers are… More ▸

  • 2 Dozen Men Get Permission from Rabbi to Take 2nd Wives

    In 1994, 24 men were granted permission by Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron to take second wives. The Hebrew daily Yediot Achronot reported that in most of the 24 cases, the women were mentally ill. In others, they were out of the country and could not be reached. In a letter to the… More ▸

  • Rabbi Shlomo Goren Dead at 77; Was a Colorful, Controversial Figure

    Rabbi Shlomo Goren, a former chief rabbi of Israel and one of the country’s most colorful and controversial religious figures, died Saturday night of a heart attack at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. He was 77 years old. He fell ill Friday night, as he made kiddush with his family at his home in Tel Aviv…. More ▸

  • 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 ▸