Israel: New Hope for Agunot?

Over 200 participants from Israel, the US and Canada, including Orthodox rabbis, judges, lawyers, scholars and women’s rights activists met to discuss solutions to the problem of agunot, women chained to an unwanted or non-existent Jewish marriage because their husbands refuse to give them a get (Jewish divorce).

As an Israeli women’s rights lawyer who has represented hundreds of agunot in the Israeli rabbinical courts during the past 33 years, I was impressed by the presentations and particularly encouraged by the call for community action.

Summit organizers expressed the hope that new scholarship as to halachic solutions and new political changes might bring about real change. High-profile speakers included Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, recently retired Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch and the prolific and well-known Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

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