Agunah Awareness Shabbat

Ahead of International Agunah Day on Ta'anit Esther, we dedicate this Shabbat to agunot around the world.

Download a printable version of our new Discussion Guide, created for Shabbat Parashat Vayikra 5782.

Partnering Communities:

Adath Israel (Hillside, NJ)

Beis HaKnesses of North Woodmere (North Woodmere, NY)

Beth Abraham (Bergenfield, NJ)

Boca Raton Synagogue (Boca Raton, FL)

Congregation Anshe Chesed (Linden, NJ)

Congregation Darchei Noam (Fair Lawn, NJ)

Congregation Keter Torah (Teaneck, NJ)

Congregation KINS (West Rodgers Park)

Congregation Netivot Shalom

Congregation Ohab Zedek (NY, NY)

Congregation Rinat Yisrael (Teaneck, NJ)

Congregation Shaarei Tefillah (newton, MA)

Congregation Sha'arei Torah (Cincinnati, OH)

Congregation Shomrei Torah (Fair Lawn, NJ)

Great Neck Synagogue (Great Neck, NY)

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale - The Bayit (Riverdale, NY)

Jewish Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach (Atlantic Beach, NY)

Lincoln Square Synagogue (New York NY)

Mount Sinai Jewish Center (Washington Heights, NY)

Shenk Shul (Washington Heights, NY)

Sixth Street Community Synagogue (Lower East, NY)

Stern College for Women

The Bach Shul (Long Beach, NY)

Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst (Cedarhurst, NY)

Young Israel of Teaneck (Teaneck, NJ)

Young Israel of Century City (Los Angeles, CA)

This is the first ever Agunah Awareness Shabbat and we hope to grow this initiative year over year. If you know of shuls or individuals who would like to participate next year, please send them our way - we would love to include as many people as we can. Contact us at education@getora.org.

AGUNAH AWARENESS (Instagram Post) (5 × 3.5 in) (1).png

"While we confront a terrible abuse of halacha daily, we are blessed to witness profound humanity at the same time."

-ORA case advocacy team

"Through our helpline, callers receive critical information about the Beth Din process and what to expect as they proceed forward in whichever direction they wish to move."

- ORA helpline

"With each agunah freed and each community reached, we are working to create a Jewish community where abuse is intolerable..."

- ORA's CEO, Keshet Starr

"Truthfully, the mere fact that I am writing this story as a free woman is a miracle."

-former agunah


In the Headlines...

Viewing Get Refusal Through a New Lens


By Keshet Starr, CEO

The phones at ORA are always ringing.

In the 10-plus years since I’ve started advocating for agunot, the need for get-refusal work has never slowed or stopped, only increased. There was a brief—and eerie—few weeks when the initial shock of the COVID-19 lockdown made it difficult for people to safely leave marriages, but our call volume in the years since has more than made up for it, tripling since pre-Covid numbers.

But what is get refusal about, at core? Is this a halachic problem? A legal issue? A systemic failure? A community embarrassment? All of the above?

There are many faces to the agunah crisis, and multiple terms we could use to discuss the get issue. But the phrase I want to talk about today is spiritual abuse.

Read more on The Jewish Link...