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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Rabbinical Council meets Agunot Advocate from Israel

כ"ד אדר ה' אלפים תש"ע

RCV Meets Agunot Advocate

Members of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) met this week with Israeli lawyer Dr
Sharon Shenhav, who is currently in Australia as a scholar in residence of the National
Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA).

In the first joint RCV-NCJWA meeting held in many years, Dr Shenhav addressed the rabbis
on the issue of agunot (literally, "chained women‟) – women whose husbands refuse to grant
them a get (Jewish divorce). Dr Shenhav spoke of cases in which women were kept in a
halachic time warp lasting years or even decades and which sometimes only ended with the
death of the recalcitrant husband. Until such time as a get is granted, the female partner is
unable to remarry according to Jewish law and any children she may have with another
partner would be considered mamzerim (bastards).

In responding to Dr Shenhav, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Israel Bar Association‟s
Committee on Rabbinical Courts and for six years was the only woman serving on the
National Commission on the Appointment of Dayanim, RCV President Rabbi Yaakov
Glasman expressed his pain at the suffering of Jewish women whose husbands refuse to
grant them a get and articulated the need for leading halachic authorities to explore ways in
which agunot can be freed.

“Given the efforts of the RCV in combating the aguna issue through the formulation of a
Prenuptial Agreement, we are very supportive of any efforts to assist agunot whose
husbands are effectively holding them hostage”, Rabbi Glasman stated.

“It is our sincere hope that the women who are suffering as a result of this issue will be freed
without further delay, and the RCV is working hard to pre-empt such cases occurring in the
future”, he said.

In praising the work of the RCV, Dr Shenhav expressed the hope that the recently formulated
Prenuptial Agreement will positively impact the situation in years to come.

For further information or photographs of the event please call RCV Executive
Director Ari Morris on 0411 592 987 or email executive@rcv.org.au.

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