Adina Porat's Struggle for Freedom
Mother and Children Speak Out After Eight Years of Abuse at Hands of Dayton, Ohio Man
For Immediate Release:
New York, NY, October 27, 2015 – In a video released last week by the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), Adina Porat, along with her five children, spoke out about the years of abuse she has endured at the hands of her estranged husband, Dovid Porat (also known as Eli Shur), who currently resides in Dayton, OH. In 2007, Dovid Porat/Eli Shur abandoned his wife and children in Israel, and then fled to the United States in 2008. Porat assumed the alias Eli Shur and has not contacted his family since that time. Porat/Shur refuses to give Adina a Get (bill of Jewish divorce), leaving her an agunah for the past eight years.
An agunah (pl: agunot) is a woman whose husband refuses to issue her a Get, leaving her chained to a dead marriage. According to traditional Jewish law, a husband must give his wife a Get in order to finalize their religious divorce. In some divorce cases, a husband will refuse to issue his wife a Get, preventing her from remarrying within her religious community. Recalcitrant husbands often demand financial or custodial concessions from their estranged wives in exchange for the Get. Sometimes, however, a husband refuses to issue a Get simply out of spite.
According to Adina Porat, Dovid/Eli “told the children before he left [Israel] and he told various people among all the years that he has not given a Get that the only reason he has not given a Get is for revenge. Just to hurt somebody else. He has never asked for anything in eight years.”
Dovid/Eli taught Jewish Studies for many years. He now works as a life coach in Dayton, Ohio. The Israeli Rabbinate issued its strongest possible ruling against Dovid/Eli, stating that he can be compelled with all civilly legal means to issue Adina a Get. According to Jewish law, Dovid/Eli must be ostracized by the Jewish community until he issues Adina a Get.
ORA is organizing a peaceful demonstration to protest Porat/Shur’s refusal to issue Adina a Get. The rally will take place in Dayton, Ohio on Sunday, November 8th at 11:30 AM. For more information about the rally please visit www.freeadina.com/upcoming-rallies.
ORA identifies Get-refusal as a form of domestic abuse. According to the organization’s website, “Domestic abuse is defined as a pattern of controlling behavior in a relationship, where one spouse tries to assert control over the other spouse. Domestic abuse can manifest itself in many forms, whether physical, emotional, economic, sexual, or psychological. After a marriage has fallen apart, the Get is the last vestige of control a husband has over his wife.”
In recent years, stories of agunot have made headlines in major newspapers. On March 21st, 2014, the front page of the New York Times featured the story of a Las Vegas man who had refused to issue his wife a Get for several years. Similarly, on November 4th, 2013, the New York Post’s cover featured the story of a New Jersey woman who had been fighting for a Get for over three years.
About ORA: ORA believes that a Get must never be used as a weapon. The Jewish divorce process requires the participation of both parties. All too often, a spouse refuses to comply in order to control the other party and utilize the Get to extort concessions. ORA strives to eliminate the infliction of abuse within the Jewish divorce process. ORA resolves current cases of Get-refusal by combining facilitation with advocacy, and prevents future cases by promoting the universal adoption of Jewish prenuptial agreements. ORA’s services are provided free of charge, and ORA is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. ORA operates under the halachic (Jewish law) guidance of Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). More information about ORA is available at www.getORA.org.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/boJDwKSkTyE
Rabbi Jeremy Stern
Executive Director, ORA