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  • In Rabbinical Sexual Abuse Case, Some See Shift in Orthodox Attitudes

    The decision of a leading association of centrist Orthodox rabbis to expel one of its members has highlighted for some in the community the difficulties of addressing sexual abuse in the Orthodox world. Following an investigation into allegations from several women of sexual harassment, the Rabbinical Council of America announced last week that it had… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Israeli rabbis ordered a woman jailed for refusing to divorce her husband. On Monday, Ha’aretz quoted the Rabbinic High Court as describing the unprecedented ruling as an effort to impose the same penalties on recalcitrant wives as on husbands. “We did a great deal of the freeing of women from their ‘agunot,’ ” Rabbinical Judge… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Men who refuse to give their wives a religious Jewish divorce must pay $150 a day under a revised prenuptial agreement released by a coalition of Orthodox groups. The pre-nup released Tuesday by the Beth Din of America, the Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Caucus aims to resolve the long-standing problem of agunot,… More ▸

  • Obituary Rabbi Steven Dworken Dead at 58; Orthodox Leader Felled by Heart Attack

    Rabbi Herschel Billet was home with the flu Monday and couldn’t answer when he received a call from Rabbi Steven Dworken, his longtime friend and colleague. But Billet, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, wasn’t surprised when he played the message. Dworken “just said, ‘It’s nothing much, just calling to see how you’re doing,… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Israel’s chief Ashkenazic rabbi has pledged to recognize and cooperate only with those rabbinical courts outside Israel that adopt a set of standards on divorce issues. In addition to Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, several key rabbis and Orthodox groups around the world — including the Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America — have endorsed… More ▸

  • News Brief

    An advocacy group for agunot is declaring the current Jewish month “Freedom for Agunot Month.” The Brooklyn-based L’maan B’nos Yisrael International is coordinating special days throughout the month of Nisan in which husbands who have refused their wives a get, or Jewish divorce, can do the proceedings free of charge at numerous rabbinical courts. More ▸

  • News Brief

    British campaigners held a candlelight vigil Sunday in London for Jewish women whose husbands have denied them a religious divorce. The Agunot Campaign designated the first night of Chanukah as “Agunot Awareness Day.” Agunot is the term used for women denied gets, or religious divorces. More ▸

  • Jewish Relatives of Terror Victims Confront Issues of Burial and Divorce

    Rabbi Avi Weiss has three families in his congregation waiting for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to decide whether their relatives are dead or alive. “We’re in a period of mourning between death and burial, which is in limbo,” said Weiss, spiritual leader of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in the Bronx, N.Y. The three… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The rabbinic organization for U.S. centrist Orthodoxy urged its synagogues to punish people who deny their spouses a Jewish divorce, or get. The Rabbinical Council of America’s resolution, which enables communities to withhold synagogue membership or deny honors without first waiting for a ruling from rabbinic courts, is expected to help agunot, Jewish women unable… More ▸