Nachum welcomed Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander back to JM in the AM this morning for an Ohr Torah Stone update and much more.
Read the OTS press release below:
OHR TORAH STONE OBTAINS JERUSALEM RABBINICAL COURT DECISION ORDERING EGGED BUS COOPERATIVE TO FIRE EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF HIS REFUSAL TO GIVE RELIGIOUS DIVORCE TO HIS WIFE
JERUSALEM – Ohr Torah Stone (OTS), the modern Orthodox network of 27 institutions which has become a leader advocating for women wrapped in the Agunah crisis, lauded the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court’s decision late last week ordering the Egged Bus Cooperative to fire one of its employees because of his refusal to properly divorce his wife with a Get (Jewish writ of divorce).
The couple, whose names cannot be disclosed, immigrated to Israel from India several years ago with their only child. Even before they came to Israel, the husband had been violent towards his wife, and he continued his physical attacks on her – and their child – once they had immigrated as well, leading to police intervention on at least one occasion.
Ten months ago, the Rabbinical court ordered the husband to grant his wife a Get but he refused, declaring that he would only give her a Get if she waived her share of their joint property. As a result, the court imposed various sanctions upon him, but he continued to refuse to give a Get.
Attorney and Rabbinical Court Advocate Tehila Cohen of Yad La’isha: the Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline, an Ohr Torah Stone organization which assists Agunot – women who are “chained” to marriage because their husbands deny them a Jewish divorce, is representing the wife in this case.
Cohen realized that the only way to get the husband to grant his wife a proper Jewish divorce was for him to lose his job. She requested that the Rabbinical Court utilize a law that allows a man refusing to grant his wife a Get to be denied employment at any public agency. As Egged is subsidized by the state of Israel, she argued, it qualifies as a public agency for this purpose.
Cohen’s request was granted last Thursday by a Jerusalem panel of rabbinical judges headed by Rabbi Uriel Lavi, which ordered the Egged bus cooperative to fire the husband within 30 days.
“Like everyone else, my client deserves to lead a peaceful and happy life. We will not rest until she receives her freedom and can embark upon a new and secure life together with her son,” said Cohen.
“We have witnessed the use of a variety of sanctions in the past, and each creative solution such as this gives great hope to other trapped women, that there are ways to release them from the prison of their marriage,” said Yad La’isha Director Pnina Omer.
“Ohr Torah Stone applauds Tehila Cohen’s ingenuity and untiring efforts on behalf of the wife in this unfortunate case,” said Ohr Torah Stone President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Kenneth Brander. “All women deserve the chance to begin anew without being held hostage; all the more so when they are victims of violence and abuse, as in this case.”
Yad La’isha: the Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline, part of the Ohr Torah Stone network, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to freeing and assisting Agunot. Every year, Yad La’isha represents some 150 women in the Israeli rabbinical courts, also providing private investigators where necessary as well as staff social workers and personal coaches who empower the women while they await their freedom.
Founded in 1983, Ohr Torah Stone is a Modern Orthodox network of 27 institutions which are transforming Jewish life, learning and leadership worldwide. The network champions academic excellence, creative scholarship and social justice, infused with intellectual openness and a deep sensitivity to contemporary concerns. It is creating the next generation of Modern Orthodox leaders and training them on how to deal with cutting edge issues that impact the global Jewish community. For more information, visit:https://ots.org.il/.