10th and final member of ring that ‘unchained’ Jewish women from marriages sentenced


NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Jay “Yaakov” Goldstein was sentenced to eight years in prison for his participation in a ring that violently attempted to coerce Jewish men to grant their wives religious divorces.

Goldstein, 61, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a statement.

Goldstein was one of 10 people, three of them Orthodox rabbis, convicted for their roles in the ring, which for a fee kidnapped and tortured recalcitrant husbands. He is the last one to be sentenced.

According to Jewish law, a Jewish woman cannot remarry without receiving a Jewish divorce, or get, from her husband. Women who are trapped in such marriages are called agunot, or chained women.

The ring’s members were busted in an FBI sting operation in 2013.

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