Mar 17, 2011
Ta'anit Esther 5771
We are very excited to announce the resolution of our 150th agunah case! This milestone in our history demonstrates the success of our sensitive approach to agunah resolution, which combines amicable facilitation with relentless advocacy. Less than two years ago we reached our 100th-case milestone. Today we are celebrating 50 more. The public's continued support of ORA has enabled us to expand our operations significantly and resolve more cases in the past three years than we resolved in our first six years combined.
Here are the stories behind resolved cases #146, #147 and #150:
#146: Locked in a heavily contentious divorce, the husband and wife had continually explosive and volatile interactions. Though a restraining order had been issued against the husband, and custody and child support were already decided, the parties had reached a bitter impasse. ORA advocated for the woman at beit din and a seruv (religious order of contempt) was issued against the husband. ORA staff spent months reaching out to instrumental rabbis and the parties’ respective attorneys, organizing various meetings in attempts to reach an amicable settlement of all outstanding issues. Finally, ORA staff arranged for an unconditional get to be issued at the wife’s attorney’s office and assisted the parties in reaching and drafting a final divorce agreement.
#147: While their case continued to drag out in civil court, the husband refused to appear before beit din to adjudicate the issuance of a get. A seruv was therefore issued against him. After ORA staff tried for four months to try to arrange an amicable get proceeding, ORA organized a protest rally in front of the husband’s office building. Hours before a second rally, he finally agreed to appear before beit din. The beit din ruled that a get must be issued. The husband complied, and at the get proceeding, when asked by the beit din why he finally capitulated, he stated that he only agreed to give the get due to the threat of a second rally.
#150: Upon leaving his wife, the husband took off to Israel to avoid the entire civil divorce proceeding. Though not Orthodox, the wife is traditionally Jewish and recognized the importance of a get, which she knew she could not secure in civil court. ORA reached out to and befriended the husband in Israel, convincing him that a get was in his best interests and would be arranged simply and quickly. An ORA representative in Israel arranged for the hearing and a get was given.