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  • 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 ▸

  • News Brief

    The director of Israel’s rabbinical courts and seven well-known Orthodox rabbis from the United States will participate in a conference Sunday on “approaches to deal with the agunah crisis.” The Brooklyn gathering with Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan will discuss strategies for helping observant women who are prevented from remarrying because their estranged husbands refuse to give… More ▸

  • ‘chained Women’ May Be Freed by Religious Divorce Standards

    `Chained women’ may be freed by religious divorce standards In what some say is a historic breakthrough for Orthodox women unable to divorce, several prominent Orthodox rabbis have endorsed standards for rabbinic courts. The standards would require that a get, or Jewish divorce, be the first step in divorce proceedings. The recommendations are expected to… More ▸

  • Panel Trashes Jewish Leaders in Britain for Divorce Problem

    The Orthodox Jewish establishment here is insensitive to the problem of Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them religious divorces, women’s advocates say. The accusation follows a public forum devoted last week to the issue of agunot, as women in this predicament are called. It’s an issue that is a contentious one in the… More ▸