Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Warsaw Rabbinate Decides to Petition Hoover to Admit 200 Women to U.S.

June 9, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Rabbinate of Warsaw at its meeting yesterday decided to address a request to the President of the United States for his intervention in the plight of two hundred Jewish women in Poland whose husbands died without issue and who, in accordance with Biblical law, cannot remarry until they go through a ceremony in which they are released by their late husbands’ brothers.

In the cases of the 200 women, in whose behalf President Hoover is to be petitioned, the brothers of their late husbands reside in the United States. Under Jewish religious law the brothers must personally go through the ceremony known as “Chaliza.” In this ceremony the brother receives the rebuke of his former sister-in-law for his refusal to comply with the Biblical law that he marry her. By the acceptance of this rebuke the widow is freed to remarry. Acceptance of this rebuke by proxy is not permissible under the law and the 200 brothers-in-law have refused to come to Poland to go through with the ceremony. The Rabbinate has therefore applied to the American consul to issue visitors visas for these women for the purpose of effecting their release to remarry.

When the Rabbinate learned yesterday that the Consul refused definitely to grant the visas it decided to attempt to relieve the plight of the women by a petition to President Hoover.

Recommended from JTA