Australian women’s peak body tackles the problems of The Gett

May 23, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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National Council of Jewish Women of Australia and Unchain My Heart Incorporated have lodged a joint submission on Gettrefusal with the Australian Law Reform Commission.

The ALRC is conducting the first comprehensive review into the family law system since the commencement of the Family Law Act in 1976, with a view to reforming the family law system to ensure that it meets the contemporary needs of families and effectively addresses family violence and child abuse.

The submission Gett Refusal, Jewish Divorceand Family Law defines the refusal to agree to aGett(Jewish bill of divorce) as a tool to control, intimidate and extract concessions from women, with grave consequences if they wish to remarry because without a Gettchildren born in a new relationship will suffer compromised social status within Judaism, which will endure for 10 generations.

Gettrefusal is a form of family violence and a violation of human rights, and should be dealt with accordingly,“ stated Unchain My Heart Chair Susie Ivany. “We hope that progress will be made as a result of the submission to make it easier for Jewish women to obtain a Gettand move on with their lives within their religion”, declared NCJWA Acting National Co-Presidents Sylvia Deutsch and Victoria Nadel.

The joint submission makes a number of recommendations, among them an order that the civil Decree Nisi shall not become absolute until the Court has been satisfied that both parties have taken all steps reasonably within their power to ensure that all barriers to a Jewish re-marriage have been removed.

For NCJWA the issue has been of concern for decades, with the organisation’s first national conference in 1929 pledging to advocate for Agunot (Jewish wives affected by Gettrefusal, literally “chained” in Hebrew) and put pressure on rabbis to find a solution. In 1970 then NCJWA NSW President (later National President) Ray Ginsburg AM and Rebbetzin Marion Apple of the Great Synagogue formed the NCJWA Status of Women in Judaism and Jewish Law Committee to inform and educate Australian lawyers on the need to push for a Gett along with a secular divorce. Other NCJWA presidents and Section leaders have also been active on this issue for many years.

Unchain My Heart Inc. is a Melbourne based not-for-profit organisation established to promote the resolution of religious divorce abuse and provide assistance to individual Agunot.

Submission authors are Talya Faigenbaum principal of Faigenbaum Family Lawyers and Dr Ann Wollner, Special Counsel at International Social Service Australia and a Clinical Psychologist in private practice. Both Faigenbaum and Wollner are executive committee members of Unchain My Heart Inc. Wollner is also Vice President of NCJWA (Victoria).

Comments

2 Responses to “Australian women’s peak body tackles the problems of The Gett”
  1. Lynne Newington. says:

    Thats interesting. Maybe Catholic women seeking marriage annulments could follow suit.
    The Questionaire alone is an invasion answerable to a bunch of celibate men.

    B. Personality and Character
    1. Describe your behavior toward alcohol and drugs; specifically any addictive or abusive behavior.
    2. Describe your relationship with the opposite sex, dating habits, and/or any addictive behavior(s); e.g., gambling, internet, cybersex, pornography.
    3. Write a brief sketch of your personality; comment on your weak and strong points at the time of the wedding and now.
    ….If your relationship with each other was a sexually active one prior to marriage, when did this begin? How did this influence your decision to marry?
    And more disruptions when it come to wills….

  2. Benseon Apple says:

    Rebbetzin Marian Apple’s involvement must have been after 1970 as she was not in Australia at that stage – she arrived in Sydney in 1972…

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