This website is made possible by generous donations from users just like you. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day.  Please consider making a gift to JWA today!
Close [x]

 

You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Chained Wives Sentenced to Marriage

A few years ago, I saw the Israeli film Sentenced To Marriage which documents the stories and experiences of agunot, Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a get (divorce contract) leaving them as "chained wives." It was rather sobering to learn about these women (religious and secular alike) whose self-determination is trumped by oppressive men, and falls prey to the less-than-sympathetic judgments of the rabbinical high court.

I was reminded of the agunot crisis when reading today about a Jewish woman's long-fought triumph to get a divorce in Canada. December 2007 marked a breakthrough ruling for the intersection of civil and religious law when the Supreme Court of Canada ordered Stephanie Bruker's ex-husband to pay $47,500 in damages for the years he denied giving her a get. He'd sworn to do so as part of a civil divorce agreement. And yet, in a last-ditch effort, Bruker's ex-husband is now asking the Supreme Court to rehear the case, an attempt to shirk his financial responsibility. You can read more about this in Women's E-News.

It appalls me that hundreds of Jewish women around the world remain "sentenced to marriage" long after their marriages have become unsalvageable. Years of domination, and of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse are lived realities for women worldwide. A number of Jewish organizations including the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) and Jewish Women International, have been aggressively addressing the agunot crisis and doing all that they can to support these women's struggles.

Learn about the agunot advocacy work of Orthodox feminist Rivka Haut in JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution.

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share
0 Comments
Subscribe to Jewish Women, Amplified and get notifications sent to your email.

How to cite this page

Namerow, Jordan. "Chained Wives Sentenced to Marriage ." 15 February 2008. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 11, 2018) <https://jwa.org/blog/chained-wives-sentenced-to-marriage>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Poll

How do you prefer your latkes?

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Twitter

8 hr
"Stories of influential Jewish women in history remind me that there’s a long line of powerful Jewish women standin… https://t.co/i9oeZ9Y3qe
11 hr
Did you know that isn't the only women's rights activist in her family? at the… https://t.co/VAfRn97gvB
13 hr
in 1947, Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori became the first Jewish woman, as well as the first American wom… https://t.co/WbxCYOdkss